News and Announcements

Encore Presentation of Security Briefing to be held April 23, 2010 for Landmark Building

In an effort to educate the community on responsibilities, policies, procedures and technology in place at HSPH, the Information Technology department will host a security briefing for the community on April 23, 2010 from 12-1 pm in Conference Room 2, Landmark 3rd Floor.  This is an encore of the March 16, 2010 session that was held in Kresge G1.

An on-demand video is available is also available from the March 16, 2010 event.

View On Demand Video:
View: HSPH Information Security Update

TIP: to fastforward and/or enlarge the video, right click on the presentation and select “Play in Real Player.”

Update on McAfee Issue

Technicians are in the field this morning to address any remaining issues with the McAfee issue from yesterday.  Our push of the updated data file for Novell users was successful for most users. 
If your computer remains in a reboot loop, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP or helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu and we will schedule a technician for an office visit as soon as possible.
Thank you for your continued patience.

Computer Reboot Loop Issue

At approximately 10 am, an error message popped up on hundreds of HSPH computers warning users that they had a virus and their computer would shut down in 1 minute. Their computer was then stuck in a reboot cycle.

This was not actually a computer virus outbreak, but rather a faulty data update from our security vendor McAfee.  This issue was global and not isolated to HSPH.  There are reports of other universities, government agencies, and businesses experiencing similar issues (see below for news articles).

Timeline:

  • Issues surfaced at approximately 10 am after computers at HSPH started to receive the automatic update from McAfee (DAT 5958).
  • HSPH IT staff worked closely with McAfee for several hours including hosting a Webex session from McAfee to an “infected” machine at HSPH. 
  • McAfee released an updated data file at approximately 1 pm.
  • HSPH IT staff tested both a pushed deployment fix using Novell and a manual fix for other users.
  • At 2 pm, HSPH Helpdesk sent email to community with instructions for Novell users to update the data file.
  • At 2:30 pm, HSPH Helpdesk staff started going floor to floor to update computers in need of manual updates.

Other Notes:

  • Computer laboratory machines and classroom machines were not impacted.  Neither students working in computer laboratories nor courses were affected.
  • Mac computers were not impacted.
  • Not all users at HSPH were impacted.

Update procedure if on Novell network:

  1. REBOOT your computer
  2. LOGIN to Novell
  3. Wait for the computer to RESTART itself (approximately 1-2 minutes)
  4. Your computer should then be updated with the new data file and you can login.

Update procedure if you do not login into Novell:

  • Contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP, helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.  It will most likely require a technician visit to manually install the new datafiles.

Related articles:

Computer Downtime on April 15, 2010

On Thursday Night, April 15th, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers and network equipment.

The downtime window will last from 7:00PM – 1:00AM.

The following services will have one or two small outages:
(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

  • GroupWise Full Client and IMAP Clients
  • Novell File and Print services
  • NetStorage
  • ICF File and Print services
  • OASIS
  • ALICE
  • Powerfaids and NetPartner
  • Web Server (main www.hsph.harvard.edu site)
  • GroupWise WebAccess 
  • Accellion
  • HPCC system
  • HSPH Unix server

All Future Planned Down times are Thursday nights from 7PM to 1AM on the following dates:

  • 5/16/2010  (NOTE – Downtime moved to Sunday night due to academic calendar)
  • 6/10/2010
  • 7/15/2010
  • 8/12/2010
  • 9/16/2010
  • 10/14/2010
  • 11/11/2010
  • 12/16/2010

If you have any questions about the downtime, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP or helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.

HSPH home page redesigned

On April 9, 2010, the HSPH Department of Information Technology’s web team and the HSPH Office for External Relations launched a redesigned HSPH home page.

Some features of the new design include:

  • A new and dynamic top banner.  The banner allows for highlighting of news, multimedia, research, Harvard Public Health Review articles, and other items of note.  Each feature includes a photograph that will bring a steady variety of images to the HSPH homepage.
  • Addition of HSPH social networking sites in the footer on the home page and on pages across the site.  These include Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn.  Join in the effort to build stronger global HSPH communities by visiting these sites.
  • Wider page format and better use of space.

Additional updates to the HSPH home page and other pages on the HSPH site are planned throughout 2010. 
Please contact Chris Ternan, HSPH Webmaster, cternan@hsph.harvard.edu, 617-432-4159 for further information.

Screenshots:
Lead feature on health reform featuring Professor Meredith Rosenthal.  The feature links to a video produced by Ned Brown, Multimedia Communications Specialist, Office for External Relations.

newhome-meredith.jpg
 
The second feature on infectious diseases links to a recent Harvard Public Health Review article.

 
For comparison, a screenshot of the old home page:

hsph-homepage.jpg

New Staff Member: Patrick Creedon

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire, Patrick Creedon.  Patrick will work as a user support specialist in our User Services Group and will provide helpdesk, desktop, classroom, and media services support to the community.

Patrick is a graduate of Emerson College where he earned a bachelors of arts degree in television video. Patrick is transferring from Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study where he has worked since 2008.  His work included coordinating Radcliffe’s meeting spaces, managing events, and working with AV vendors on room repairs.  He has significant AV troubleshooting expertise in a classroom and auditorium setting.

patrick.jpg

Photo by David Shelton

Patrick worked previously at Boston University overseeing their “Experience Room.”  The Boston University Experience is “a unique and compelling multimedia presentation that showcases the University’s long—standing tradition of academic excellence and leadership for social change. This state-of-the-art facility is one of a kind-no other university or
college has such a facility.”  The Experience Room was used for both admissions and for special events.

Patrick also completed several internships in the television industry at WBZ TV/CBS 4 Boston.

Please join us in welcoming Patrick to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

Interesting fact:  Patrick works part-time at the Apple Store in Hingham MA as a Mac Specialist.  We are very excited to have a Mac expert on staff.

Microsoft Product Upgrades

MicrosoftHSPH faculty and staff are reminded that HSPH participates in the University Microsoft Enterprise site licensing program.  The following products are available from the HSPH Helpdesk free of charge:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Project 2007
  • Microsoft Visio 2007
  • Microsoft operating system upgrades

Other Microsoft products are available.   Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP for further information or to schedule an installation/upgrade of a Microsoft product. We can only install MS Products on HSPH owned computers and laptops and IT staff members must do the install.

If you are interested in training in MS Office 2007 or MS Project 2007, there are several upcoming on-site classes also offered free of charge.  Registration for training opportunities may be found at: https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/computer-training/.

We currently include MS Office 2003 as part of the software image we provide on new, Harvard-owned computer purchases. We will upgrade to Office 2007 upon request.

Software distribution and llicensing for home use and student use is currently being finalized.  Look for an announcement shortly!

Firefox Upgrade

The User Services Group recommends that any user running Firefox 3.6 upgrade to Firefox 3.6.2 to fix a security vulnerability.  Mozilla will be pushing out a notice to upgrade “within 24 to 48 hours.”  The upgrade is very quick taking a minute or two. 
Upgrade procedure:

  • Open Firefox
  • From the HELP menu, select CHECK FOR UPDATES
  • From pop-up window, select UPDATE FIREFOX
  • The patch will download and then require a restart of Firefox

If you need any assistance with the upgrade, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP.
Additional information:

Thank you for Attending Tech Day!

On March 17, 2010, the HSPH Information Technology Department hosted our first technology day in the Kresge Cafeteria Atrium.  Thank you for stopping by and visting with Dell, Polycom, and our staff. 

TechDay2.JPG
User Services Mike Demarco (lower left) and Dell’s Peter Ton (upper left) show the new Dell laptop and desktop models available to the community through the University’s Dell contract.

Fred Sheahan of HSPH’s Instructional Computing Facility led a demonstration on the use of TurningPoint audience response systems.

Related resources:

Facebook Scams leads to Computer Infection

The information below was sent to us from McAfee Anti-Virus:

“There appears to be quite a large Facebook password reset scam/spamming going on worldwide. McAfee Labs is aware of the issue and have excellent coverage through Artemis. There are several different versions floating around with names like:

  • Facebook_Password_245.zip
  • Facebook_Password_346.zip
  • Etc…..

Inside the zip file is an executable named Facebook_Password_.exe. This is a trojan and is not to be clicked! McAfee Labs has a worldwide view and handle on this issue.

McAfee is working hard to keep your Facebook experience safe and to reinforce that they should be running Artemis.

Best regards,
McAfee”

Please use caution when clicking on any posts or links sent to you by an unknown person on any social networking site. Contact the IT Helpdesk at 617-432-4357 or helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.