Incidents

What’s going on?

In the last few days Intel, AMD and ARM have publicly announced major security flaws within their CPU chips.  We are working with suppliers to patch our systems as quickly as possible to ensure they remain secure.

Security patches will be applied to your computer over the coming days. Never switch off your computer at the wall or the security patches will not be applied.

The University of Reading IT department will continue to monitor risk and will make updates when needed, however, please do remember to update your home machine. This flaw affects millions of institutions and businesses but will also affect households too. Full details of what the security flaw is and how to deal with it can be found on the BBC website, including how the flaw is exploited and how to keep your personal machine protected.

There has been no evidence that the flaw has been exploited yet but still poses a security threat.

Non managed Mac and Linux users should ensure that they have the latest versions of their OS and software in order to have the security patches applied.

A reminder of some good online security tips:

  1. Use strong passwords and do not share them
  2. Use central file shares or One Drive for Business in preference to local drives
  3. Never switch off your computer at the wall or the security patches will not be applied
  4. Lock/secure your hardware
  5. Encrypt sensitive and personal information
  6. Think carefully before clicking on links in emails, even from friends and colleagues
  7. Ensure that your anti-virus is up to date
  8. Ensure that Windows updates are applied promptly
  9. Keep software applications up to date
  10. Dispose of IT equipment and data securely
  11. Protect your mobile device

If you have any further questions or concerns then please contact IT.

 

There was a major power outage on campus this morning, affecting two key server rooms. This resulted in the loss of most of the IT services on campus.

The majority of services were restored by 14:00. Notable exceptions being;

  • Wi-Fi authentication
  • Campus card payment services
  • Trent
  • Sports Park web site
  • Network link to Cedar Farm
  • Some networking in Harry Pitt
  • Lyle building power – affects all servers hosted in this server room

 

Some services are running slowly due to re-synchronisation of the server storage. This should complete over the weekend.

There is a backlog of e-mail (incoming and outgoing) which is being processed.

Please accept our apologies for the disruption this has caused.

 

IT

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We are currently trying to fix an issue with the Whiteknights campus firewalls, which can lead to occasional and very brief losses of connectivity to the Internet for users at Whiteknights and London Road campuses, and when accessing University business systems such as Agresso, RISIS and Trent.  There are some challenging circumstances, so it’s taking us longer than usual to get to the bottom of things.  We are working with our equipment vendor’s advanced technical support and engineering teams with a view to identifying feasible workarounds and a fix for the root cause as quickly as possible.

In order to assist with our diagnostics, and to help us accurately judge the business impact of this issue, it would be helpful if people could contact the IT Service Desk if they are unexpectedly disconnected from any of the University’s business systems during their day to day work. We routinely monitor the University’s Internet connectivity so at the present time do not need to be contacted regarding brief losses of Internet access.

As ever, please feel free to discuss any aspect of this issue with your IT Business Partner if you wish.

We have recently been experiencing problems with slow logins to some PCs on campus. We are working very hard to resolve this issue. Should you find your login is unacceptably slow (over 4 minutes), you should:

Contact the Service Desk immediately on 0118 378 6262, 6262 from an internal phone.
They will be able to provide you with details of a guest login account.
If required, restart the PC (hold the power button if necessary).
Login using the username and password supplied to you.

NOTE: The guest login will not map your N:\ drive automatically. The Service Desk will be able to assist you with this. You will still be able to access Blackboard and the Internet.

AV technicians are also able to assist with this particular problem.

We have seen another increase in phishing emails over the last few weeks and this is having an impact on both staff and support services.

Read the rest of this entry »

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It has been widely discussed on Mac user forums that there are issues with the Wi-Fi connectivity in the latest version of Mac OS X.  Read the rest of this entry »

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IT Services have encountered a serious issue with access to Wi-Fi services following a Firewall upgrade yesterday evening.  Read the rest of this entry »

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There has been widespread media coverage of the Heartbleed OpenSSL IT security vulnerability this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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We have had a mail sent to University staff this morning which is another scam. Read the rest of this entry »

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We have had a mail sent to University staff this morning which is another scam.

Do not click on the links in the email. We have taken steps to block the site and to mitigate the risks associated.

Bleasdale

 

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