Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Posts By: Marianne

Twitter Counter App hacked

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📥  Computing Services, Security

The Twitter Counter App used with Twitter accounts appears to have been compromised and has been used to post spam messages to users' feeds. The messages are written in Turkish and appear to target Holland. Twitter accounts for Amnesty International, Forbes and any other users with high post and follower counts seem to have been targeted. The company Twitter Counter have acknowledged the breach of their service and taken steps to secure it, however the breach appears to mirror an earlier one from November 2016.

Twitter account holders who made use of Twitter Counter should revoke access for it in line with Twitters instructions.

https://support.twitter.com/articles/76052#

Whilst Twitter account details should not have been compromised, in the event of any connected breach it is good practice to review the security of all Twitter accounts and make sure they:

  • have a new strong password
  • ensure that any mobile phone numbers associated with the account are current
  • use login verification where possible
  • review the access for third party Apps and revoke those that aren’t needed

More advice is available from Twitter on Account Security tips - https://support.twitter.com/articles/76036#

 

#WomeninIT

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📥  Computing Services

I was asked whether the #WomeninIT campaign relates to our department.  Computing Services is made up of three work streams: Infrastructure, Management Information Systems and User Services. The percentage of women in these work areas are almost 5%, almost 21% and almost 19% (these figures were worked out using our organisation chart).

Computing Services needs a change in workplace culture if it wants to meet the goal highlighted by International Women’s Day - Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.

Campaigns like #WomeninIT

Will a campaign like #WomeninIT help us to encourage more women to apply for and get jobs in Computing Services? We thought we would ask the women in our department.  This does show the more exclusionary aspect of these campaigns.  We did not ask others in the department. The survey was a quick snap-shot and the number of replies was limited. However, the replies were really interesting.

None of the respondents had a computer science educational background and many had started working in IT by accident.  Respondents enjoyed their work for reasons that included: ‘liking the variety’ and ‘being able to use some of my maths skills (e.g. logic, statistics, analysis) in coding’.

Skills that were identified as useful to work in IT included:

  • patience
  • ability to think logically
  • a desire to help
  • being analytical
  • being good at problem-solving
  • having good communications skills
  • having an attention to detail
  • wanting to learn new things
  • persistence

There was no one skill set that echoed for everyone, there was nothing gender specific about the stories behind the replies.

The majority of the respondents strongly wish that more women would apply for jobs in IT and join them.

Dispelling the agreed narrative of who is good at IT

I really like this response to describe why campaigns like this are useful.

For some reason, too many women (and people in general, actually) have the idea that it’s either a great mysterious sector ruled by genius man hackers, or incredibly dull and tedious… Good examples of all kinds of women, i.e. relatable figures, in the industry, help disperse the mystery …

It’s fun seeing the variety of people being highlighted with the hashtag, people that are interesting that I’d not have heard about without it. Good to see how many of us are out there, too – and how positive we can be toward each other.

So are the campaigns useful?

Campaigns highlight awareness and allow us to recognise that there are issues, however, they are not enough in themselves.  I'm not optimistic about seeing the ratio improving in Computing Services by International Women's Day 2018 but I'd love to be proven wrong.

There is not one type of person that should work in IT.  Look out for #ITjobs on our twitter account and please apply.

 

Making your office moves easier

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📥  Computing Services, Service Desk

Moving locations can be stressful so we have introduced the Office Move Request form to the IT Help portal to make it more straightforward.  Please submit the form 14 days or more before you move.  We will use the details in the form to start a conversation with you and work to make sure the set-up of IT in your new location goes smoothly.

Access the Office Move Request form

  1. Log into IT Help
  2. Select 'New Requirement'
  3. Select 'Request an IT Service'
  4. Select 'Office Move Request'
  5. Fill out as much information as possible
  6. Select 'Submit'

Happy moving!

 

 

Pidgin retirement, 3 February 2017

📥  Computing Services

Following on from roll-out of Skype for Business to all staff, the legacy instant messaging client Pidgin is being retired.  The client will have been removed from across the University desktop estate, 3 February 2017.

You can use Skype for Business for instant messaging - give it a go if you haven't tried it yet!  Skype can be used on your work computer as well as Apple, Android and Windows devices.

 

SAMIS unavailable, 20 and 21 December 2016

📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

SAMIS will be unavailable, Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 December 2016.  This is a significant upgrade and, as recommended by our software supplier, we have set aside two days to complete the work.

We need time to back-up the databases and complete underlying work on the servers and databases before the upgrades commence.  For this reason, we would ask users to stop using SAMIS by 6pm on Monday, 19 December.

Unavailable applications

The following applications will be unavailable for the duration of the upgrade:

  • University user account creation & some other computing services user account tools
  • Application Tracker
  • Online Applications
  • SAMIS bookings (PG Skills, University Open Days, UCAS Open Days)
  • Applicant username and password generation
  • Registration
  • SAMIS on the Web (Student and Staff: includes Unit Evaluation and Coursework Coversheet printing and scanning)
  • Student Lookup
  • Access to Student Information Desk (SID)
  • SAMIS Desktop Client (Staff only)
  • Business Objects (SAMIS-related reports only)
  • Learning Materials Filestore (LMF)

SAMIS client users will be informed by email when SAMIS is available again or you can follow the news on twitter @UniofBathIT.  Check the status of SAMIS at status.bath.ac.uk.

Connections to SAMIS

Data to / from SAMIS and other systems will not update during the upgrade. If you are responsible for any technical interfaces to/from SAMIS, please ensure that your connections to the database will not be attempting to run during this period. Systems that provide data to or get data from SAMIS include:

  • UCAS
  • Moodle
  • HUB
  • CareerHub
  • Room Service
  • Agresso
  • PURE
  • Student Loan Company
  • Students' Union (MSL)
  • Exam Timetable

Thank you for your patience while this necessary upgrade takes place.

 

IT services unavailable during weekend of 17 and 18 December 2016

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📥  Computing Services, Servers and Storage

Please log out of your PC, Friday 16 December 2016, before leaving for the weekend.  Many IT services will be unavailable from 7am Saturday 17 December  2016.  Email, Wi-Fi and access to the internet will be available if you access them from your personal device.  On Sunday 18 December please check the status of different services at status.bath.ac.uk   

Services affected by the maintenance include

• Access to active directory PCs connected to the University network (staff computers, public access computers in the Library and in general teaching areas)
• 'H' drive storage and your roaming profile (used when you log in)
• Linux desktops
• Sunrays
• Remote desktop services (UniDesk, UniApps, AdminDesk, AdminApps and UniDeskLR)
• people.bath.ac.uk (personal web space)
• files.bath.ac.uk
• Scanning on managed print devices
• Archibus Web Central (ARCHIBUS facilities management software)
• Business Objects
• CMS
• CRIS (Current Research Information System)
• LMF (Learning Materials Filestore)
• Pure
• RT
• SAMIS (client software)
• Sympa email lists
• Wiki
• Web – read only web root available for upgrade
• X drive – departmental and some research storage

Available services include:

Email, Wi-Fi and access to the internet if you use your own device.

Work Completion

We will tweet from @UniofBathIT once work has been completed. You can check the status of different services at status.bath.ac.uk

Many thanks for your patience while we upgrade our NetApps service and carry out this important work to increase our storage capacity.

 

Skype for Business roll-out, November 2016

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📥  Computing Services

The roll-out of Skype for Business (Skype) to all staff is going well and will be completed before we break for Christmas this year.   Over the coming weeks staff who are not already using Skype will receive 2 emails, one before their go live date and one on the day.  We are encouraging staff to send an instant message as soon as they can so they get used to using Skype as soon as possible.  Floor walkers from Computing Services will be available to help you open and send your first instant message.

Find out more

Sign up for our training course to explore the different ways you can use Skype for work and research.  Use our guide to accessing Skype on your work computer and your own devices.

If you have any queries about Skype for Business please contact the IT Service Desk.

 

Parking charge phishing email, 15 Nov 2016

📥  Computing Services

We are aware that some users have received a phishing email with the subject line: Parking Charge Reminder Number [a number].  Please delete this email.   It is a convincing looking email and it claims to be from UK Parking Control Limited (UKPC) which is a legitimate company.  Please note that this company never sends out parking charges by email.   The phishing email is not from UKPC.

The bottom of the email asks victims to click on “payment options and photos” for more information - a link that is likely to contain malware. If you receive one of these emails, delete it, do not download the attachment.   If you did download the attachment please get in touch with our Service Desk at go.bath.ac.uk/it-help-form.

Example content of the phishing email

Reminder To Ticket Keeper

Parking attendant №: 74292 had liable reason to believe that the following misdeed of the terms and conditions of parking happened on our client's private land (Details of which were clearly and prominently displayed and agreed to by the driver by the act of parking the vehicle).

Parking Charge Information
Parking Charge Date:
17/10/2016
Parking Charge

Referance number:
PY52P98OX
Parking Charge Amount:
£90.00
14 Day Early Pay Discount:
£0.00
Additional Charges:
£0.00
Discount You Could Have:
£99.00
Total now due: £90.00

 

 

Welcome back and enjoy your year

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📥  Computing Services

Welcome back from your summer or from your year's placement.  If (like me) you forget your password when you're away for a while, you can always reset your password.

Here's a quick catch up on some of the IT services you may want to use over the next few days and months.

Extended opening times at the Service Desk in the Library

If you have any IT problems you can get help and support in person, online or over the phone.  We have listened to our students and have extended the opening hours during the first teaching week of this semester.

  • Come and see us at the Service Desk on Level 2 of the Library between 8.30am and 5.30pm from Monday 3 October to Friday 7 October 2016.  Our usual term-time hours are from 9am to 5pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 10am to 5pm on Wednesdays. We look forward to meeting and helping you.

You can also:

Buy a new laptop, tablet or accessory for the new academic and use our services to study more successfully

Our not-for-profit IT shop sells a range of laptops, tablets and IT accessories.  Come and chat to the team in the Library so you get the best product for you.   To help you get started you can get Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free because you are a student here.

Once teaching is under way don't forget to set up and use UniDesk  so you can access your University desktop on your own devices and use files.bath to easily access your 1GB of storage on your H:drive.

Finding out about IT services

We offer many IT services and we want to make it easier for you to find out about them.

Enjoy the next academic year and get in touch if we can help.