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Technology Update
June 10, 2014

Table of Contents

Data Security at Drexel University
Accounts and Computer Services Information for Graduating Students
Online Streaming from Comcast Available through Resnet
Ransomware Attacks on the Rise
Set Up or Update Your Password Reset Service
Security Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Patched
How Can I Print my Exam?
Sign Up for OLT Workshops


Data Security at Drexel University

On May 21, 2014, President John Fry announced a new data security initiative that will be a component of the University’s comprehensive security, privacy, and compliance program, one that will engage all academic departments and administrative offices. This initiative will allow Drexel to better protect academic, medical, financial, and other sensitive personal records entrusted to the University, providing peace of mind to students, patients, faculty, and professional staff.

Part of the implementation of the Data Security Initiative will involve the encryption of University-owned internal hard drives with Sophos SafeGuard. Information regarding the encryption process can be found on IRT’s Computer Encryption page.


Accounts and Computer Services Information for Graduating Students

Congratulations to the graduates of 2014! The following information affects those graduates who will not be continuing at Drexel in an active role (teacher, employee, graduate degree candidate, etc.). For those of you who are continuing at Drexel, your computer account privileges will be maintained as appropriate.

For those of you saying goodbye, we would like to call your attention to the changes that will take place this summer with your computer accounts and, in particular, the continuing computing services that Drexel's Office of Information Resources and Technology (IRT) will provide to you.

IRT services for alumni are detailed at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/newalumni. Some key points:

  • Drexel domain accounts close approximately 30 days after graduation.
  • DrexelOne, full email service, and DUNX1 accounts stay open for up to two years after graduation (unless you request that they be closed sooner).
  • At account closing, you may request extended email forwarding for your user ID and official address.
  • Drexel LinkEdu accounts remain open indefinitely.

Please be sure to keep track of your passwords. Once you cease to be an active student, it will be difficult for IRT to verify your identity in order to help you reset your password.

IRT provides these services to recent alums in order to facilitate a smooth transition upon graduation. We hope they will be useful to you. If you have any questions, send an email to accounts@drexel.edu or call 215-895-2020. Good luck in the future!


Online Streaming from Comcast Available through Resnet

IRT is pleased to announce that together with Comcast, the University has officially launched a trial of the XFINITY On Campus television service.

XFINITY On Campus is Comcast's exciting and innovative service that allows residence hall students to view 85+ channels of live, high-definition television from their laptops, iPads, and iPhones using an easy-to-navigate, interactive guide while connected anywhere on the campus network. The trial service also includes the XFINITY On Demand service and offers students in the University residence halls the ability to purchase subscriptions to premium content for HBO, Starz, and the Sports Entertainment Package, which includes networks such as NFL RedZone.

As of April 14, the new XFINITY On Campus service is available to all residents of Calhoun, Caneris, Kelly, Millennium, Myers, North, Race Street, Stiles, Tower, and Van Rensselaer Halls. There are no fees or complex registration steps necessary to use the service.

University residence hall students can begin using XFINITY On Campus by following these instructions:

  1. Visit http://drexel.edu/irt/xfinity to learn about the hardware and software requirements necessary to get started.
  2. Click "Start Watching" on the page above, and follow the remaining instructions.

If you have questions or encounter problems with the new service, visit IRT's XFINITY On Campus Requesting Help page, or contact IRT via email at resnet-tv@drexel.edu.


Ransomware Attacks on the Rise

Cyber criminals have ramped up their efforts to infect computers and demand ransom from victims for the release of their data. Recent “ransomware” scams attack a victim’s computer by encrypting the data, and then holding that data hostage until the owner pays up for “decryption.” Examples of ransomware trojans include CryptoLocker, CryptoDefense, CryptoWall and Cryptorbit.

It is extremely important to learn how to recognize and avoid a possible attack before you become a victim. If you are targeted by one of these criminals, NEVER pay them!

These criminals want your computer, your money, and your information, and they will use every possible means to get them from you. They will pretend to be your friend or relative, or impersonate a legitimate organization—even Drexel University. They will troll through your public information on social media in order to target their attacks, masquerade as software updates, and infect email attachments, all in an attempt to trick you into opening or installing an infected file. They will also exploit security holes in browsers and ads on social media sites, waiting for you to click a link or go to an infected Web site they provide.

To prevent an attack or infection:

  • Never give anyone your password, no matter who asks for it.
  • Never open an attachment from anyone you don’t know. Use extreme caution for all others.
  • Be wary of links—before you click on one, make sure the text matches the link when you hover your mouse over it. Don’t click a link provided by someone you don’t know, especially if no explanation is given.
  • Don’t respond to threats regarding your computer or your accounts.
  • Keep your computer secure with the latest software and anti-virus updates.
  • Back up your data to a reliable, reputable cloud/off-site service (Drexel offers CrashPlan ProE). If you are ever hit by ransomware, a recent backup can be used to restore your data WITHOUT giving the criminals what they want!

If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of an email, first contact the IRT Help Desk at consult@drexel.edu.


Set Up or Update Your Password Reset Service

In light of Drexel’s recently announced Data Security Initiative, IRT would like to remind users of the importance of maintaining the security of computer account passwords. As such, we are recommending that users ensure that their Password Reset Service settings are set up and/or up-to-date.

If you have never set up the service, you will be prompted to do so upon signing in to Accounts Management at https://accounts.drexel.edu. If you set it up some time ago, ensure that you remember the answers to your security questions and make any updates as needed.

Knowing your security questions and answers will make password retrieval—if you forget it—an easy, self-service process. Help is thus readily available by clicking the "Help! I forgot my password" link on the Accounts Management sign in screen.

Using the Password Reset Service is also the most secure method to reset your password. If you are unable to use the service, a password reset requires a phone call (not an email) to the IRT Help Desk at 215-895-2020, or an in-person visit to the Korman Front Desk. Resets will be restricted to IRT’s hours of operation, and are thus not as convenient as the Password Reset Service.


Security Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Patched

A very serious security flaw was recently found in Internet Explorer, one that could allow hackers to take control of a compromised computer. On May 1, Microsoft released a fix for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and even Windows XP—although Microsoft has firmly stated that this patch for XP is exceptional, users of XP are strongly encouraged to migrate off the now unsupported operating system.

This security fix was delivered via Windows Update. Automatic updates should be enabled on your computer to ensure that this fix and repairs for other security defects are installed as soon as they become available. To check or change your update settings, visit the Microsoft Windows or Apple MacOS updating instructions.

Microsoft fixed the IE vulnerability in XP this time, but let this serve as a warning for the potential for future serious vulnerabilities that Microsoft will NOT fix in XP.

NOTE ABOUT WINDOWS XP: This security defect is the first major flaw discovered since Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP on April 8. As additional flaws are discovered, Windows XP will become increasingly vulnerable to attack for anyone still using it. It is critical that all Windows XP machines be upgraded to at least Windows 7 as soon as possible. If your department needs assistance with evaluating equipment for upgrade or replacement, contact IRT at consult@drexel.edu or 215-895-2020.

For more information about this threat and Microsoft’s response, see this article in PCWorld.


How Can I Print my Exam?

Two options exist for instructors to print an exam from Blackboard Learn: the quick and direct method, or the slower but more controlled method. The best method will depend on the type of exam, and your reason for printing it. See more of this article in AskDrexel.


Sign Up for OLT Workshops

The Online Learning Team conducts training sessions on Learn, Camtasia, Collaborate, Web basics, Mac OS X, SharePoint, and more. In addition, several brown bag lunches and workshops on technology products of interest are held each month. These training sessions are open to members of Drexel’s community as well as the general public.

To reserve a spot at any of these workshops, email us at olt@drexel.edu with your name, institution (if other than Drexel), contact information, and the name of the workshop(s) you would like to attend.

Below is a sampling of workshops taking place in June and July:

Learn Full Day Workshop
Friday, June 27, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Recording and Editing with Camtasia Studio
Thursday, July 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Objective Tests: Answers to 5 Key Questions
Wednesday, June 25, noon – 1:30 p.m.

SharePoint Fundamentals
Tuesday, June 24, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Visit our Web site for our complete training schedule and workshop descriptions. If you need a separate workshop for your department or faculty group on a specific topic, you can email the Online Learning Team to coordinate a session.

Unless otherwise noted, all training sessions will be held in room 116 of the Korman Center (off the Quad on Drexel’s University City Campus, 33rd Street between Market and Chestnut Streets).