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Lab-Wide Group Looking into Issues of Computer Standards

The Lab's Computing and Communications Services Advisory Committee (CSAC) and the Information Technologies and Services Division (ITSD) have established a joint working group to assess various issues relating to standards for desktop computers. The group's mission is not to come up with standards to be imposed, but to investigate the impact of standardization on the quality of support of the computer environment at LBNL and make recommendations in that regard. Other areas that would benefit from a more standardized approach are data backups and computer security.
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Meet the Staff of the Lab's Computer Support Help Desk

Each month, the Lab's computer support Help Desk fields an average of 2,100 requests for assistance. The five people staffing the desk handle inquiries by phone, the Web, email, walk-ins and voicemail. Those calls cover computer platforms from Mac to PC, UNIX to Linux, as well as any number of operating systems for the various platforms. Throw in questions about printers, email, network connections and software applications and the result is a challenging mix of problems.
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Password Tips and Tricks - What Works and What Doesn't

The Computing Infrastructure Support Department, which administers the central servers providing email, calendar and other services, is getting tougher with passwords and has been notifying employees whose passwords are too easy to crack and therefore present a cybersecurity risk. In fact, the CIS checkers are using the same software often used by hackers to try to decode passwords.
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Tip of the Month: Don't Forget to Shut Down Before Taking Off for the Holidays

Lab employees can protect their computers and files - and save energy - by turning off non-essential computers and monitors before leaving for the holiday shutdown on Friday, Dec. 21. Taking the few extra minutes to shut things down can also protect your systems in the event of unexpected power outages. Shutting your computer down also makes it off limits to hackers, who may be looking for something to do over the holidays.


UNIX Security Course to Be Presented on Tuesday, January 22, 2002, in Oakland

UNIX system administrators and programmers is your UNIX system secure enough to be able to withstand the many kinds of attacks that are launched against UNIX systems? To help you in your effort to achieve security in UNIX systems, the LBNL Computer Protection Program is sponsoring another full-day course on UNIX security.
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New UNIX Desktop Backup Service Is More Stable, Offers New Features

Next month, Lab employees who use computers running UNIX operating systems will be able to sign up for a new automatic computer backup service that offers a number of advantages over the current backup offering. According to the Computing Infrastructure Support (CIS) Department staff, the new service, called Veritas Netbackup, will meet UNIX user requests for a backup service that is of high quality, and is very stable and accessible.
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Block That Virus, Stop That Worm - Just What Is the Lab's VirusWall?

The Lab's first line of defense against incoming email infected with viruses is a scanning application known as the VirusWall. The application scans all email sent to "username@lbl.gov" addresses. The wall also scans outgoing messages to help stop the spread of viruses from inside the Lab (such viruses typically enter the Lab via email sent to employees not using a "username@lbl.gov" address). When an infected message is detected, the virus is removed and both the sender and recipient, as well as VirusWall administrators, are notified of the action. Read more about the VirusWall.


Monthly Virus Update: Goner, Gokar and Other Nasty Worms

This look at the latest viruses making the cyber-rounds is provided by the Lab's Computer Protection Program. The viruses described below are all being blocked by the Lab's "VirusWall," which scans all incoming email with "lbl.gov" addresses for viruses. Employees who maintain their own Lab email servers should check to ensure that these systems have updated antivirus software.
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Virus Hoax Again Circulating - Heeding This One Could Disrupt Your PC

A virus hoax message that originally appeared months ago is recirculating around the Internet. The subject line is generally something such as "Re: Virus you are probably infected," or "This is important!" The message says that the virus will insert a file named "sulfnbk.exe," and that this file must be deleted to disinfect a system that has been infected. Nothing could be farther from the truth — sulfnbk.exe is a critical system file in Windows 98 and ME systems. Removing it will cause damage to these systems. For more information, see http://vmyths.com/hoax.cfm?id=257&page=3
 
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Computing News is maintained by Jon Bashor.