VPN issue – at max capacity due to open day

The University VPN is currently at max capacity because a large amount of people working from home due to the open day parking guidelines.

We have hit the max number of VPN IP addresses already and this means that some people may not be able to get into the VPN until there is a free slot.

In the meantime we advise staff to consider the below guidelines:

  • If you don’t need to use the VPN to access N Drive/Collaborative Fileshare etc then please don’t. Use OneDrive and Team sites wherever possible.
  • You can access Office 365 apps (Word, Excel etc) by logging into https://www.office.com using your University email. Once you enter your details you will be directed to a University of Reading login page which requires your username and password. Once logged in you can access all your apps in a browser or download them on up to 5 devices.
  • If you need to access files then you should copy them to your OneDrive and then log off the VPN. This will free up connections for those who really need it.
  • You don’t need a VPN connection to access your email. You can do this via Outlook on a laptop or via the O365 portal.
  • Log out of the VPN as soon as it is not needed.

12:20 19/06/19 Hardware issue – affecting some online University services

All services affected by the outage earlier this week are back to normal but we will be monitoring them as an extra precaution.

We apologise for the inconvenience this outage caused.

IT will review the critical incident and provide a detailed breakdown of what happened and how on the IT Blog.

We have now implemented the fix and staff printing is back to normal. We are going to monitor the success of the fix this evening and tomorrow morning and will provide and update confirming all services are completely back to normal tomorrow.

We have progressed with identifying an issue and are now working on getting services back to normal. In order to carry out this work we will have to make printing for staff unavailable between 3pm and 5pm.

This is due to taking the hardware that controls the staff printing offline temporarily. No other services will be affected and we will notify you on this page and the IT News twitter when the service is back up.

We recommend you print anything off you need for this afternoon before 3pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

IT have been working on this hardware issue last evening and this morning. We have identified the cause of the problem and are now working to resolve it.

The services listed below are still considered ‘at risk’ which means they are running at a lower resilience and have a slightly higher chance of going down. However, nearly all services are now available to use.

We will update this page when we have more information or the services are back to normal.

IT have been working on this issue and many of the services are now working as usual. However some services are still affected.

We will update this list as services become available again:

(As of 16:30 these services are still unavailable. All other services are now back up and running as usual)

  • IT status page
  • Agresso (working, but we will be monitoring it still until it is fully reliable)

We are continuing to work on this issue as a priority and will update this page as the remaining services begin working again.

Due to hardware failure some University services are currently unavailable.

Services affected are:

  • Kinetics
  • Agresso
  • Trent
  • Wren
  • Room bookings
  • Some web services
  • Apps Anywhere
  • Sateon
  • Unity
  • Counselling Titanium
  • EDMS
  • IT Status Page
  • Adlib

We apologise for the inconvenience this outage is causing and are working on this as a priority. We will provide an update as soon as we have more details.


Scam phone call alert – “TeamViewer”

We are receiving reports of a scam phone call coming into staff phone lines. The caller claims to be a IT Support company (in this case ‘MW Support’) affiliated with the University of Reading.

The caller will direct you through some instructions and then proclaim that your computer is ‘in danger’. They will then direct you to a website URL or ask for remote access to your computer.

We have provided a more detailed description of their process further down so you can recognise it.

This is not a genuine call and you should hang up if you encounter it.

The scam method:

Below are the instructions the scammers give you. Use this to recognise the scam if you receive a similar call.

  1. Turn on your computer
  2. Press: WIN + R
  3. Type: eventvwr
  4. Then click on Event Viewer (local) / Custom Views / Administrative Events
  5. The caller will claim to see many errors on your computer and say that it is ‘in danger’. These are not errors, but ‘administrative events’, normal tasks carried out by your computer.
    The caller will then say they “will take you to the secure server to help me out”.
    You will be asked to open web browser and visit a URL (containing ‘teamviewer’) and download the software, after that they will ask for username and password.

Spam email alert – “Professional Program and Ethical Conduct Program “

We have been receiving reports of a recent phishing email making it into University inboxes. The email claims to be from the Chancellor and has the subject line “Professional Program and Ethical Conduct Program for University of Reading “.

It contains a PDF attachment that should not be opened.

We have provided a screenshot below (click the image for a larger version):

Do not open this email or any attachments as it could damage your work and computer and may make your private details vulnerable.

If you are concerned about this email or other similar emails then please call ex.6262 or go to reading.ac.uk/it

If you are a member of staff whose students are reporting this to you we strongly recommend that they change their password via the https://password.reading.ac.uk website.

If you go to https://password.reading.ac.uk/reset/ you can reset your password; provided that you know your University Username, Student Number and PIN. These can be obtained by filling out the form at https://password.reading.ac.uk/reminder.

For tips on keeping yourself and your information safe online, visit the IT web page on Cyber Security.

Network issue – now resolved – affected some University services

UPDATE: The previously affected services are still running as normal. The services are still considered ‘at risk’ and we will be monitoring them this evening and tomorrow.

Last night at  we experienced a network issue that affected some University services.

All services were restored by 11:00pm and are fully operational but are considered ‘at risk’ while we monitor them.

Services affected:

  • UPP – tills, phones
  • Security – Coretech
  • Exams – running reports through SITS
  • Campus Commerce – Tills
  • Website
  • Mailman
  • External email

Why did this outage happen?

After the Network issues we experienced on 9thMay, we took steps to ensure availability throughout the exam period by effectively enforcing a change freeze as a short term solution. However, we agreed that we would have to schedule some down time immediately after the exam period to try and fix the bug properly by applying an update recommended and supported by our supplier.

Tonight, after 6pm, we scheduled that work with the supplier but unfortunately it did not fix the bug and caused a total network outage. We have therefore attempted to roll back again and services started to return at 22:30 after a lot of troubleshooting from our network team with the supplier.

Apologies to anyone effected tonight by this outage.