legionfieldcrowd

Thanks to a collaborative effort, there were few problems despite the record crowd at Legion Field for the first Blazers football game of the season on Sept. 2.

This system streamlined the entry of any students and fans into the stadium cutting down entry time with just a swipe of a BlazerID or other UAB fans with just a scan of a ticket. This partnered with the addition of WiFi access points spots around the 17 entry gates at Legion Field helped make this large initiative possible.

"Not only was the Digital Ticketing Project a great success, game one of 'the return' was also, hugely successful. All parties involved deserve a round of applause for a job well done," said Nelvin Short, deputy director of telecommunications for the City of Birmingham.

IT Project Manager Carrau Brewer also applauded the effort.

"Sometimes, success is measured by the dollars and cents. In the case of this project, we would like to measure success by applauding your hard work for accommodating the 45,212 fans that attended the return of football at UAB as well as being played at the Legendary Legion Field," Brewer said.

Learn more about how UAB IT supports the Blazers here.
Want free ice cream? UAB IT is hosting a free ice cream social for students to kick off its second annual free Laptop Checkup for students.

The events are part of the celebration of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which serves to remind everyone of the importance of information security. The ice cream social will be held Monday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 318 at the Hill Student Center. Stop by for games, information and, of course, free ice cream.

Then come back Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 11-12, for the free Laptop Checkup. Our tech experts wil ltake a look at your laptop to make sure it is free of viruses and other security risks.
MultiplyingPhish
When a suspicious email hits your inbox, it is sometimes followed by even more — but why so many?

If one person at UAB falls for a phishing email, their account can become compromised — and send out dozens or hundreds of similar phishing emails, all from that legitimate but compromised account. Because the phish comes from what appears to be a legitimate account, more people are apt to click links or attachments in the email.

And if more people fall for the phish, the emails continue to spread.

When phishing reports are made to UAB IT, the Information Security team acts quickly to recover compromised accounts and block the senders and suspicious URLs. That's why reporting a phishing email — through the PhishMe Reporter button in Outlook or by forwarding to phishing@uab.edu — is so important to stopping the spread of malicious emails.

Learn more about phishing and how to recognize a phish at uab.edu/phishing.
Unlimited backup storage is available through UAB IT with CrashPlan, a service that provides easy, automatic cloud backup for your data.

The service will be available for $10 per month per user.

CrashPlan offers continuous cloud backup with unlimited storage, as well as encryption for your data.

CrashPlan is available for faculty and staff across campus.

Request CrashPlan through the IT Service Portal.
StacyBallard


Stacy Ballard has been a UAB football fan since the beginning, when she was a student at the university.

“I followed many sports,” said Ballard, a systems analyst for UAB IT. “I was here when it started. I was a student here, alumni, employee so I’m just proud to be a part of it all.”

Ballard is an important part of the UAB team on campus — her work with UAB systems helps make sure everyone gets paid on time every month.

Having held season tickets for years, Ballard will be no stranger to Legion Field on Saturday, Sept. 2, when the Blazers take to the field for the first time in two years. She is proud of the city’s support for UAB.

“It was the fans and community that rallied to raise the money to bring it back and the support that exists now,” she said.

Ballard missed the football team during its absence but is elated about the return. She is excited to cheer on the team this fall — especially with a family of fellow supporters in the stands.

What’s her favorite part of the football season?

“I would put the game itself first and cheering the team on and then seeing others around you that you get to know or already know from working here or from obviously being a season ticket holder,” she said.
UAB IT will be adding new email security enhancements to protect UAB faculty, staff and students.

The change will take advantage of attachment handling improvements in Office 365 to reduce the number of potentially dangerous attachments.

Attachment files that are prohibited include those with these extensions: .ace, .ani, .app, .docm, .exe, .jar, .reg, .scr, .vbe, .vbs.

Most email users will not see any changes to their email habits, as most of the file types prohibited are already prevented by their email client.

For more information on email service constraints, please see this knowledge article in the IT Service Portal.
AskIT MoveIn Hours

AskIT, UAB IT's help desk for students, faculty and staff, will be open extended hours during move-in weekend and during the first week of classes.

Visit our trained technicians at the help desk at Sterne Library, OneStop, the Residence Life Center throughout move-in weekend and during the week if you have questions about connecting to WiFi, resetting your BlazerID password, or any other tech questions.

AskIT staff will working these extended hours:
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 25, at Sterne Library and OneStop at the Hill Student Center
  • 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at RLC on Saturday, Aug. 26, during freshman move-in
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at OneStop at the Hill Center on Saturday, Aug. 26
  • 1 to 5 p.m. at OneStop on Sunday, Aug. 27
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at OneStop and Sterne Library from Aug. 28-Sept. 1


In addition, you can visit our TechConnect store on the first floor of the Hill Student Center, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Welcome back, Blazers!


Beginning Oct. 1, UAB Dropbox file-sharing will be replaced by UAB Box and OneDrive, services that offer the same functionality with enhanced features such as greater and even unlimited storage.

The software that runs UAB Dropbox is nearing the end of its supportable life, so UAB IT held town halls in early summer to co-author solutions for its replacement with the campus community.

What will take place: 
On Oct. 1, 2017, no new file uploads to UAB Dropbox will be allowed. You will still be able to download files from Dropbox until they have all expired on Oct. 14, 2017. 
On Oct. 14, 2017, the service will be turned off, and the Dropbox page will redirect users to alternatives using UAB Box or OneDrive.

Click HERE to learn how to transfer files using UAB Box. 
Click HERE to learn how to transfer files using Microsoft OneDrive. 
Click HERE to read the FAQs associated with this service enhancement.

Sharefile is the only approved file transfer method for UAB Health System personnel. Click here for more information.
A new phishing email attempt is circulating among UAB students, faculty and staff. The email claims that your BlazerID is about to expire.

The email looks similar to the one below. Some emails may even come from valid but compromised UAB email accounts.

BlazerID AbouttoExpire
If you receive a similar email, please report it using the "PhishMe Reporter" button on your Outlook, or forward to phishing@uab.edu

To avoid phishing scams, pay close attention to the sender and any links in the email. If they look unusual, ignore them. You can always log in to a known web site — such as the BlazerID web site — instead of clicking on the link.

The video below gives more tips on how to catch a phish.

To ensure UAB's mobile app can continue to deliver easy access to campus systems, the app will undergo maintenance resulting in a brief outage from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5.

The UAB mobile app offers a seamless mobile integration with Canvas, BlazerNET, the campus map, directory and other necessary campus systems. Download it today to stay connected.


Improvements to the Box.com web interface will make it easier for UAB employees to search for and share documents when using UAB Box. 

If you are using UAB Box, you can switch to the new interface now to try it out. Box will automatically switch the interface for all users on Sept. 8, 2017. 

Changes include better search capabilities using metadata, simplified sharing options and improved tile view. Notifications will also be renamed “messages” and will be accessible from the new left sidebar. 

UAB Box is a free cloud storage and collaboration tool available to campus faculty and staff. Storage capacity is unlimited, and files up to 15GB can be uploaded.  

Documentation about the changes has been placed on UAB Box in the “Welcome to UAB Box” folder. In that folder is a “New Box Experience” folder containing an inventory of changes and a short video explaining some of the differences between the new interface and the original one. Additional information can be found here [link to KB article].  

To try out the new interface, click here. You can revert to the original interface by clicking the question mark icon near your name in the upper right corner of the Box web page and clicking the link next to “Need to switch back to the old Box Experience?” 

UAB IT recommends you switch to the new interface as early as possible to become familiar with it. 

On Sept. 8, 2017, Box.com will enforce the use of this new interface for all users. 
Would a share in UAB’s supercomputer help you with groundbreaking research?

UAB IT is offering a unique opportunity for UAB faculty and researchers to invest in the UAB research computing infrastructure by providing a dollar-for-dollar match toward the purchase of compute resources. UAB’s research computing cluster is one of the fastest in the state.

The matching program effectively enables the researcher to get priority access to twice the compute resources in which they invest.

Priority access will be implemented through scheduler policies, ensuring the maximum wait time to access those priority compute resources will not exceed two hours.

When these resources are not in use, they will be available to all cluster users who have individual jobs that take less than two hours to execute (i.e., these resources will be part of the express queue). These resources will be available to the user in this mode for a period of three years, after which the priority to use expires, and they will be added to the general compute pool.

Since there is a limited amount of funds set aside for this matching program, requests are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and approved based on the matching amount and specific needs for the purchase.

The matching program for the 2016-2017 fiscal year has $150,000 available for matching and is restricted to specific hardware configurations and only minor variations to these configurations are allowed (e.g., additional RAM). The configurations that are currently supported are:

  • Two Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 2.4GHz CPUs (total 28 cores) and four NVIDIA Tesla P100 16GB GPUs without NVLINK; 256 GB RAM; EDR InfiniBand - $32,000
  • Two Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 2.4GHz CPUs (total 28 cores) and four NVIDIA Tesla P100 16GB GPUs with NVLINK; 256 GB RAM; EDR InfiniBand - $38,000
The purchased resources will be operated and supported by the UAB IT as a standard part the cluster. All existing procedures and policies regarding access and usage to the cluster remain the same. These resources will be accessed through the existing job scheduler and workload manager (SLURM). Advanced reservation of these resources will be available as needed. 


A number of UAB students and employees have received scam emails tempting them with potential job offers.

The emails, with the subject line “job/internship vacancy,” come from multiple senders who are impersonating legitimate companies or brands.

The text of the message is similar to the following:

“Your resume was forwarded to me from your school career centre in response to an employment/job vacancy. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience if you are still looking for an opportunity to pursue.”

These email scams are likely intended to try to steal personal information or may even try to get the recipients involved, unintentionally, in illegal activity.

Students and employees should be wary of any unsolicited emails gauging your interest in a job — especially if you did not apply to the company.

Hover over the email address to check that the sender name matches the email address. Find other tips for detecting phishing emails in the video above.

If you receive a similar email, you should report it to UAB IT’s information security team by clicking the “PhishMe Reporter” button in Outlook, or by forwarding it to phishing@uab.edu.

According to the FBI, such employment email scams commonly target college students.


  • Scammers post online job advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions.
  • The student employee receives counterfeit checks in the mail or via e-mail and is instructed to deposit the checks into their personal checking account.
  • The scammer then directs the student to withdraw the funds from their checking account and send a portion, via wire transfer, to another individual. Often, the transfer of funds is to a “vendor,” purportedly for equipment, materials, or software necessary for the job.
  • Subsequently, the checks are confirmed to be fraudulent by the bank.


  • "You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay."
  • "I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training."
  • "Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies."


  • The student's bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity and a report could be filed by the bank with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency.
  • The student is responsible for reimbursing the bank the amount of the counterfeit checks.
  • The scamming incident could adversely affect the student’s credit record.
  • The scammers often obtain personal information from the student while posing as their employer, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Scammers seeking to acquire funds through fraudulent methods could potentially utilize the money to fund illicit criminal or terrorist activity.


  • Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.
  • Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
  • Forward suspicious e-mails to the college’s IT personnel and report to the FBI. Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.
  • If you have been a victim of this scam or any other Internet-related scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov and notify your campus police.
Sending PII
Sending Social Security numbers or medical record numbers via email can make you or others more vulnerable to identity theft.

UAB IT will soon implement policy tip warnings via email if it appears you are trying to send a Social Security number or medical record number via your UAB email account.

These warnings are intended to alert you to potential danger and help you protect your data and the information of others.

The popup policy tip will say: "The content of this email appears to conflict with UAB Policy regarding unsecured transmission of Social Security numbers, medical record numbers or other personally identifiable information. Be safe and review the email content before sending."

With the introduction of the policy tip, emails will not yet be blocked from being sent. But emails that appear to include Social Security or medical record number information will eventually be blocked — both in incoming and outgoing emails.

A policy tip has already been established to prevent UAB email users from sending credit card numbers.

“Sending credit card information, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other personal or financial information is extremely dangerous and could leave you or others vulnerable to identity theft,” said Brian Rivers, assistant vice president and chief information security officer. “Our goal with these policy tips is to help protect our students, faculty and staff.”
UAB IT has completed the migration of all faculty and staff email accounts to Office 365.

The change allows UAB faculty and staff to take advantage of the same email system used by students. Office 365 is a cloud-based system that offers new tools and continues upgrades to improve the service and environment.

The new link to online mail is mail.uab.edu. That email link will be changed on the UAB Quicklinks, which appears on all UAB web sites, on Wedesday, July 12.

Learn more about Office 365 here.
Splunk UAB Innovation Depot 08

Technology leaders from the Birmingham area met at Innovation Depot June 29 with officials from Splunk to explore ways to coauthor future educational programs.

Splunk is the leading platform for real-time operational intelligence. Their technology is a standard for security professionals, and having people trainined in Splunk is exponentially beneficial.

Innovate Birmingham, which graduated its first class of new technology professionals last spring, could be a new site for Splunk training. Innovate Birmingham, led by UAB and a network of 15 partners from the education and tech sectors, is funded by a $6 million America’s Promise grant and is designed to establish a pipeline of local talent to fuel innovation for local employers. Students can receive grants and scholarships to attend the educational training program, which is broken up into individual cohorts, each focused on a different area of technology.

Corey Marshall, director of Splunk4Good, said he was impressed by the partnership already in place in Birmingham.

“I know you guys say you have something special here, but I don’t think you realize how special this really is,” he said.

Marshall said he was impressed with the structure, space and support that Innovation Depot, along with its partners, provides to the Birmingham community, and said he could see the program being used as a model for other cities.

Splunk could provide valuable content and insight that is founded on their technological expertise. This potential partnership with Splunk would bring more opportunities to the students in the Innovation Depot training programs as companies have already expressed their interest in hiring the graduates trained by Splunk.

Other opportunities for Splunk could include corporate training for Birmingham businesses as many companies currently have to send their trainees out-of-state or online to receive training.

Innovate Birmingham’s first graduating cohort, focused on computer support, had an employment rate of 75 percent at graduation and 100 percent within one month of graduation. The latest cohort started in June 2017 and is focused on developer training in corporate partnership with Covalence. The goal of these programs is not merely focused on yield but rather community and economic impact for the long term.

“The students applying for this program are not doing so because their mom sent them. They are doing this because they have the drive and desire to improve their life and the life of their families,” UAB Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. said.

UAB IT hired two graduates from Innovate Birmingham’s first cohort, both of whom are working in AskIT.
A new ransomware cyberattack called “Petya” is spreading globally and infecting computers, allowing malicious attackers to demand ransom payments to restore data.

The attack is similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack that spread a few weeks ago. Experts believe the initial infection comes from an email attachment, possibly a Microsoft Word attachment.

Some tips to avoid falling for Petya (also called Petwrap):

  • Patch your Windows-based computers and update your Microsoft Office suite. Contact AskIT if you have any questions.
  • Be extremely vigilant when opening email from anyone with whom you are not familiar.
  • If you receive email from an unknown sender, be cautious about replying, opening an attachments or clicking on links or graphics in the email.
  • If you believe you have received a suspicious email, click the “PhishMe Reporter” button in your Outlook or forward the email to phishing@uab.edu.
  • Be cautious about attachments you were not expecting. Even if you receive an email from someone you know, that person’s email may have been infected with ransomware. Contact the sender by phone to make sure the attachment is legitimate.
  • Be wary of emails with incorrect grammar or spelling, or messages in which the signature does not match the sender’s name.
  • 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.
For the past year, UAB IT’s Alexandra Fedorova has been spending several days a week helping to teach a new generation of potential IT employees through the TEALS program, which places tech experts in high school classrooms to give students basic computer science skills. 

“The students are all eager,” Fedorova says. “They want to learn, but most local school just don’t have the resources or experience to teach them.”

TEALS, a national program funded by Microsoft, is in its second year in Birmingham and has partnerships with nine schools, said Tracey Wilson, regional coordinator for the organization. 

TEALS provides volunteer instructors with lesson plans and assignments. Volunteers should expect to spend about an hour to two hours in the classroom twice a week, with some extra time for grading assignments or making modifications to lesson plans. The goal is not only to reach students but to teach high school teachers how to instruct students in computer science skills.

Anyone interested in volunteering for TEALS can visit the web site at tealsk12.org.
Scammers looking to steal electronics are using a new scheme targeting university stores across the country, FBI officials said.

Law enforcement agencies are warning higher education institutions about potential credit card scams involving electronic purchases.

The FBI said the scams, which began this spring, target campus bookstores and students with valid campus identification. Scammers use students to help purchase high-end electronics, particularly Apple products, using students’ valid campus IDs and a stolen or cloned credit card.

Here’s how the scam works:

  • Perpetrators coerce unwitting students into helping them purchase electronics by claiming to be current students who have lost their student IDs.
  • The unwitting students are shown a cloned credit card and identification matching the name on the cloned credit card.
  • Perpetrators accompany students to the campus store cash register and swipes the cloned credit card, while the legitimate student shows the clerk valid campus ID.
FBI officials said that in some cases, perpetrators swiped several declined cards before one was accepted.

To protect yourself from the scam, law enforcement officials recommend you:

  • Do not facilitate a purchase from someone who does not provide valid student ID — especially someone you don’t know.
  • Establish procedures at campus stores that include provisions against allowing someone to use a credit card in someone else’s name.
If you have been a victim of the scam, contact UAB Police.
TechConnect's Laptop Program has a number of new options for students — and through the summer, those computers qualify for a $150 rebate for students through Dell.

The laptop program is convenient for students because they can get service and support right on campus at TechConnect, UAB IT's technology store at the Hill Student Center. Purchases made through the Laptop Program include:
  • Educational pricing
  • 3-year premium warranty and accidental damage protection
  • Pre-loaded with UAB software
  • Loaner laptop while yours is being repaired
  • On-campus service and support
TechConnect's experts have developed recommendations for the best options for students through the Laptop Program. Visit the store on the first floor of the Hill Center or visit the web site at uab.edu/TechConnect.