UAB IT has new recommendations for antivirus software for both home use by faculty, staff and students and for campus users.
Microsoft Forefront is no longer supported by Microsoft, which means there will be no new updates to guard against new viruses.
UAB IT recommends that faculty, staff and students use Microsoft Security Essentials on their home machines that have Windows 7 and Vista. Machines using Windows 8 or higher have Windows Defender built in.
Mac users should continue to use Sophos anti-virus, which faculty, staff and students can download for free through UAB IT.
Learn more about antivirus software here.
The update fixes a vulnerability in Windows that could allow an attacker to execute code on a system if they can convince the user to open a specially crafted document, or have them visit an untrusted webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts.
The update, which requires a system reboot, was released to all UAB IT Desktop-supported machines at 4 p.m. Monday. Users have 72 hours to let the patch install and reboot the system. Users should get a notification bubble pop up at the system tray. After 72 hours, if a user has not allowed the patch to install, it will install automatically and the system will be forced to reboot.
UAB IT urges users to find an opportune time to let the patch install and allow the reboot occur to help protect UAB systems and information.
|May 2, 2014
Office of the Chief Information Security Officer
||Suspension of Internet Access for XP Computers/System
||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.
||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 email@example.com.|
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:
- Click on the Start menu (lower left corner of your screen)
- Click Control panel
- Double-click Java; then click About in the Java control panel.
- Click Close.
How to clear Java Cache
- Close all browser windows.
- Go to Start, then choose the Control Panel.
- Click on the icon named Java. On the General Tab, under the section labeled Temporary Internet Files click the button Delete Files.
- Then choose to delete all the types offered.
- Close the control panel by clicking OK and restart your web browser.
- In Finder search for Java Preferences.
- Open Java Preferences and click on the Network tab.
- Click the Delete Files button.
May 9, 2013
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.
The information in this guidance statement applies to all constituents internal to UAB.
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 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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or, by calling (205) 975-0842.
•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)
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.