Logging onto a public WiFi network might be convenient, but it can also be dangerous. Learn tips to protect yourself in to the latest issue of the IT Risk Bulletin.

The January issue of the bulletin, a joint effort of the of UAB, the University of Alabama, UAB Health System and the University of Alabama-Huntsville, provides dos and don'ts for joining a WiFi network.

Among the tips:

Dos
  • Before joining a network, ask an employee the official name of the business' WiFi. Be sure you are connected to the right WiFi spot and not a rogue location.
  • Select a secure WiFi network that requries a password to connect. A secure connection is indicated by an icon that looks like a lock.
  • Stay up-to-date with your antivirus software, applications and your system's security patches, especially before traveling.

Don'ts
  • Do NOT conenct to an unknown WiFi network.
  • Do NOT pay bills, access bank accounts or make purchases over public WiFi.
  • In Windows 7, do NOT select anything other than Public Network when setting a network location. Public Network blocks file and print sharing and turns off network discovery. This can be disabled in Mac OS X.

For more dos and don'ts and to see past issues of the bulletin, click here.
UAB IT will host a special collection to allow the University community to destroy old CDs, floppy disks and other digital media.

University staff and faculty can drop off digital media at the AskIT office at Cudworth Hall (CEC225) by noon on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Shred-It will be on site to dispose of the materials in a secure manner, in accordance with the UAB Records Retention Policy and Destruction of University Records Procedures.

Shred-It will be on site to collect the items after noon on Jan. 22.
With students back on campus after a long winter break, here’s a reminder about the various services UAB IT offers.

For more information about how to get started with services, visit the Student Quicklinks and Contacts page.

BlazerID and Password

If you need to change your BlazerID password, you can visit BlazerID Central at uab.edu/blazerid. Student passwords expire after 180 days, but you will receive multiple advance notifications of a pending password expiration date. Sign up for the Identity feature at BlazerID Central so that you can reset an expired password yourself.

BlazerNet

Using your BlazerID and password, log into BlazerNet, UAB's student portal, uab.edu/blazernet. From there you will be able to link to class registration, grades, financial aid and other academic resources.

Help Desk

For support with all things IT contact AskIT, UAB's IT help desk. Many self-help articles and FAQs are available on the AskIT Web site. To access the FAQs, open a ticket or chat with an agent visit uab.edu/askit,or call AskIT at 205-996-5555Hours of operation vary and are posted on the Web site.

Wireless Networks

Stay connected on campus by accessing the UAB WiFi network using your BlazerID and password: uab.edu/it/wireless. Dorm WiFi access is maintained by Apogee ResNet, not UAB IT. For information about how to contact Apogee, click here.

Thomas Anthony, director of the UAB Big Data Lab, will present an overview of the lab and its associated platforms and technology at the February meeting of the IEEE Computer Society.

The talk had previously been scheduled for Jan. 15 but has been postponed, tentatively until Feb. 19.

Anthony's talk will provide information about new computing technologies such as MapReduce, Hadoop, Pig and Spark, which are being used in business analytics and insights.

UAB Big Data Lab

The mission of the UAB Big Data Lab is to make infrastructure and software supporting state-of-the-art tools such as MapReduce, Hadoop, Pig and Spark available; to support a broad base of data analysis applications across UAB’s medical and other research centers; to provide core capability for the leveraging of genomic, microbiome and pathological images in the support of personalized medicine; to provide big data analytics services to a campus-wide community of researchers; to pursue cutting-edge research within the data science space in collaboration with advanced industrial collaborators; to establish an innovation incubator for big data analytics research, support and skill-building at UAB.

Thomas Anthony

Anthony is director of the Big Data Research and Analytics Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UAB. His research interests include big data analytics for brain mapping using magnetic resonance imaging, high-performance and high-throughput computation for scientific applications and simulation of wireless sensor networks. He has extensive expertise in scientific computing systems development and management.

His current projects are funded by pilot grants from the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Institute of Health for the detection of Parkinson’s Disease using imaging and by a compute allocation grant from the National Institute for Computational Sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is also part of Research Computing at UAB IT, which is tasked with developing and maintaining the high performance computing system at UAB. He also teaches courses in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

mathematicaUAB students, faculty and staff now have access to Mathematica, a desktop and cloud-based software system based on symbolic mathematics.

Mathematica is available for free to UAB faculty, staff and students, thanks to funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

To learn more about the product and how to download Mathematica, click here.

Customers have used Mathematica for everything from engineering and math to art and architecture. Mathematica 10 software, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, includes these featured areas:

• Mathematical structures

• Geometric computation

• Differential equation solving

• Machine learning

• Structured and semantic data

• Core language enhancements

• Geographic computation

• Time-related computation

• Random process analysis

• Visualization and graphics

• Image processing

• Engineering computation

• Software engineering

• External connectivity

Instructional Technology will be hosting Open Lab at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on Monday, Jan. 5, through Friday, Jan. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  During this time, faculty and staff will receive assistance on Canvas, Respondus, iclickers, GoToTraining, GoToMeeting, etc. No appointment is needed.

Bring any files you need to work with on a thumb drive and come visit us at the CTL, located in the Education Building, directly across from Sterne Library, in Suite 240. Open Lab will be in room 240A.

For more information, please contact Katara Davis at 934-0410 or kdavis1@uab.edu.
An email sent to several UAB accounts purporting to be from Lister Hill Library, with the subject line, “Library Account,” appears to be a phishing attempt designed to steal personal information.

UAB IT is taking steps to prevent the further dissemination of e-mails from this particular sender, but remind UAB employees remain vigilant about potential phishing scams.
library phish


To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions 
here

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a victim:

• Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.

• Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.

• Verify the address. Malicious Web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).

• Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.

• If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request. 

• Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.

• Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.

• Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555.  Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.


AskIT will have special hours during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

  • Monday, Dec. 22, and Tuesday, Dec. 23: AskIT will close at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: AskIT will close at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 25, and Friday, Dec. 26: AskIT will be closed.
  • Saturday, Dec. 27: AskIT will be open from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 28: AskIT will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 29, and Tuesday, Dec. 30: AskIT will close at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 31: AskIT will close at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 1, and Friday, Jan. 2: AskIT will be closed.

Regular hours will resume Saturday, Jan. 3, with AskIT open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phishing attempts threaten not only employees' personal information but also University resources, according to the latest issue of the IT Risk Bulletin.

The December issue of the bulletin, a joint effort of the of UAB, the University of Alabama, UAB Health System and the University of Alabama-Huntsville, provides tips on avoiding getting "phished."

• If you get an email, instant message or phone call in which you are asked for financial or personal information, do not reply or click links within the message.

• Never provide sensitive personal or financial information through email.

• Do not click links in potentially fraudulent email. A link that looks like it points to a valid Web site could be forged or cause your computer to download malware.

For more tips and to see past issues of the bulletin, click here.
UAB IT Provides Critical Guidance to Campus on Appropriate Versions of Internet Explorer, Mac OS, and Java to Mitigate Risks of Exploitation; updates Java recommendation to 1.7.0_72


Windows Systems:


• On Windows 7 Install IE 10 and Java 1.7.0_72

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 10 and Java 1.7.0_72 are recommended for installation on Windows 7/8. UAB IT also recommends using a separate browser with JAVA disabled for Internet use.  Use IE on campus with Java enabled and your choice of Firefox or Chrome for Internet browsing with JAVA disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).

Mac Systems:

• Install OSX 10.9 and Java 1.7.0_72

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Mac Operating systems and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. The recommended operating systems for use on Campus are Apple OSX 10.7x and 10.8x. While Apple OSX 10.6x is still supported by Apple, vendors are no longer testing against it for compatibility. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_51.

UAB IT also recommends using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox Safari, or Chrome, with Java disabled (for information on disabling Java click here). For working with just UAB systems, choose a different browser and enable Java to work in it. If you run into compatibility issues with the local browser and UAB IT systems, use the IT terminal servers to access UAB resources via RDP client (for information on using IT terminal servers on Mac click here).

For more information, contact AskIT (www.uab.edu/askit).

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