UAB IT announced Friday that Windows XP systems (that do not have an approved exeception in place) will have all internet access suspended.  The UAB IT Oversight Committee approved this plan in late April.  See detail about the announcement below and effective dates.


May 2, 2014

Office of the Chief Information Security Officer

Subject:

Suspension of Internet Access for XP Computers/System

To:

All UAB Faculty and Management

What is Happening:

Effective April 8th, Microsoft stopped support for the Windows XP operating system and associated software.  Non-support represents a significant vulnerability to UAB and, as a result, the IT Oversight Committee has directed that action be taken to mitigate this vulnerability.



Actions:

Mitigation actions include the following steps:

1.    XP system owners will be notified via an email that their Internet access will be suspended. Notices will start being sent on Monday May 5th.

2.    7 calendar days after notification, Internet access will be suspended via our IPS/IDS system.

3.    After May 31st, all XP systems will be disconnected from the UAB campus network.

4.    If an XP system requires campus network and Internet access, an Exception Request must be submitted to the Information Security Office, be adjudicated by the Enterprise Information Security Council, and the system access restored if approved.



Contact: For questions call the Enterprise Information Security staff at (205) 975-0842 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Checking Your Version of Java

What is Java?

Java is a programming language and is critical for running a number of web-based programs and utilities. The java run time environment (which is commonly shortened to JRE, or Java) allows java-based applets to run in your browser.

Why do I need Java
A number of Blackboard tools require java to run: the text editor, collaboration tools such as the chat window and whiteboard, and other tools such as the Wimba live classroom, all run using Java applets. A lot of web-based content that you can link to from your course will also require Java to run.

How to Check your Version of Java
You can check the supported Java version on the same page that identifies Blackboard's supported browsers.
To check the version you have on your computer:

  1. Click on the Start menu (lower left corner of your screen)
  2. Click Control panel
  3. Double-click Java; then click About in the Java control panel.
  4. Click Close.

How to clear Java Cache

Windows

  1. Close all browser windows.
  2. Go to Start, then choose the Control Panel.
  3. Click on the icon named Java. On the General Tab, under the section labeled Temporary Internet Files click the button Delete Files.
  4. Then choose to delete all the types offered.
  5. Close the control panel by clicking OK and restart your web browser.

Mac OSX

  1. In Finder search for Java Preferences.
  2. Open Java Preferences and click on the Network tab.
  3. Click the Delete Files button.

May 9, 2013

Purpose

Computer systems running vendor-unsupported or end-of-life operating systems are potential security threats to the UAB campus network. Vendors do not provide security patches for unsupported systems, and these unpatched systems can be exploited by attackers. Such exploitations can result in disrupted experiments, corrupted research data and/or completely compromised systems.  UABIT reserves the right to disconnect these computers from the campus network to mitigate this data breach risk (see UAB’s Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources policy).  UAB system administrators are responsible for maintaining the security of all information systems, per the campus Data Protection and Security Policy, which includes updating applications and operating systems.

Windows XP will not be supported after April 2014. Windows versions prior to Windows XP and any version of Mac OS X prior to version 10.6 should be considered unsupported.


Scope

The information in this guidance statement applies to all constituents internal to UAB.

Guidance

We recommend that systems running legacy, unsupported operating systems should not be used. They should be disconnected from the network because of the significant security risk to the university’s network and environment. If the device is critical and cannot be turned off or disconnected, the device should be physically isolated from the university network. If disconnection and/or isolation are not possible, then an exemption and risk acceptance form will need to be completed, signed by the appropriate dean or vice president, and filed with Enterprise Information Security.

Unsupported legacy operating systems:

Windows Family

Windows 95/98/ME

Windows 2000

Windows 2003

Windows XP after April 8, 2014

Mac OS X Family

Mac OS 9.x

OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

OS X 10.3 (Panther)

OS X 10.2 (Jaguar)

Linux Distributions

Ubuntu 11.10 after May 9, 2013

Ubuntu 11.04 and Prior

Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS

Debian 5.0 (lenny)

Debian 4.0 (etch)

Debian 3.1 (sarge)

Debian 3.0 (woody)

Other Unix OS

AIX prior to 6.1

Solaris prior to 9 (SunOS 5.9)

Questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or, by calling (205) 975-0842.


References

http://sppublic.ad.uab.edu/policies/pages/LibraryDetail.aspx?pID=38

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselect

http://www.debian.org/releases/

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/support/aix/lifecycle/index.html

http://www.sun.com/service/eosl/eosl_solaris.html

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9229784/Mac_users_left_wondering_if_OS_X_Snow_Leopard_s_retired




Windows Systems

•Upgrade to Windows 7

A large-scale project is underway to upgrade all university-owned computers on the UAB campus to Windows 7 by April 8, 2014. At that time, Microsoft will cease its support for Windows XP, which has been the operating system primarily used by UAB computers in recent years. As a result of Microsoft no longer supporting this operating system, XP computers will no longer receive security updates. This creates a greater chance of XP computers being infected by viruses or compromised by malware.

This leaves one budget cycle to accomplish funding of this project. Upgrading to Windows 7 for any system needing network connectivity should be completed by April 2014.

• Install IE 9 and the most recently released version of JAVA

We are updating our 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 9 and Java (latest release) are recommended for installation on Windows 7 systems.

• Windows 8 not currently recommended for use

As XP fades away, Microsoft has rolled out its newest operating system, Windows 8. The transition from XP has prompted some users to ask why IT doesn’t upgrade to Windows 8 instead of Windows 7. The answer is that Windows 8 is currently not recommended for widespread use in the UAB environment due to the following reasons:

  • Currently, not all of UAB’s business systems support Internet Explorer 10, the minimum version of IE used by Windows 8.
  • Windows 8 introduces management changes that IT is not yet ready to address.
  • Windows 8 is best used on hardware that is specifically made for Windows 8, such as touchscreen displays or touchpads. Other than the touchscreen/touchpad functionality, Windows 8 possesses similar functionality to Windows 7 from an end user’s point of view.
  • PGP (UAB’s approved laptop encryption tool) is not supported on Windows 8 laptops. A recommended alternative is Microsoft’s Bitlocker product. (See Bitlocker with windows 8 for more information)
Published in FAQ - Infrastructure
January 01, 2012

Defrag - Windows

This section will show you how to defrag your hard drive in order to correct problems with files and folders.


*While Windows Vista is shown in the following video, the steps can be used for both Windows XP or Windows Vista platforms.

Published in FAQ - Infrastructure