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Computer Security Advisory: Vulnerability of Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel Applications

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) issued an advisory earlier this month about security vulnerabilities in two popular Microsoft applications - PowerPoint and Excel - running on both PCs and Macs. The problem can affect Windows systems running Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 97, PowerPoint 2000 and PowerPoint 2002; and Macintosh computers running Excel 98, Excel 2001, PowerPoint 98 and PowerPoint 2001.
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New Client for PC Users of Steltor CorporateTime Calendaring Application

A new version of the Steltor CorporateTime client (the application interface on your computer) for PCs is now available from the Lab's software download page. Look for the link entitled "Steltor CorporateTime 5.1.4 for Win9x/ME/NT/2000/XP" near the bottom of the Web/E-mail Software section. This new version is a minor update - it looks the same as the previous version but fixes a few bugs. Updated Macintosh and Linux versions should be available soon.


Monthly Virus Update: ANTIWAR, ANTRAX and REDESI

This is the second installment of a new series of monthly updates on computer viruses. The information is provided by the Lab's Computer Protection Program. The viruses described this month are all being blocked by the Lab's "virus wall," which scans all incoming email for viruses. Employees should check to ensure that their home systems also have updated antivirus software.
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PC and Mac Users: An Anti-Virus Update a Day Can Keep the Infections Away

One of the best ways to keep your computer free of destructive viruses is to regularly update your anti-virus software. Lab employees who use PCs and Macs can download the latest version of Norton AntiVirus from the Virus Protection section of LBNL software download page. This version of the software has a default option to update the virus signature list (which tells the application what the latest viruses look like) on a weekly basis. While that frequency was sufficient a year ago, it's inadequate today and should be changed to a daily update schedule.
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On-Line Computer Support Available to Lab Employees Under Trial Run

In the first 25 days of the Lab's arrangement to supplement its on-site computer support with an on-line help desk service from PCsupport.com, 109 Berkeley Lab employees used the site, making 168 queries. Since Oct. 1, the Computing Infrastructure Support Department is conducting a four-month trial of PCsupport.com to see if the Internet-based service provides a cost-effective supplement to the Lab's Help Desk. For more information about using the service, see the article in last month's Computing News.


Cybersecurity Tip: Latest News About Nimda Now on the Web

Here's an announcement from the Lab's Computer Protection Program:
Nimda, which was mentioned in last month's virus update and is one of the deadliest, malicious, self-propagating programs to ever surface, is still finding its way to Windows systems at LBNL, causing damage and denial of service. The Computer Protection Program Web Site has an updated posting to help you defend against Nimda and to recover your system if it becomes infected. The information can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/ITSD/Security/vulnerabilities/virus-alert.html.



Having Trouble with Your Steltor CorporateTime Password? Here's a Tip for PC Users

If you have recently changed your LDAP password (the one that lets you access your IMAP4 email account, etc.) using the Netscape email client and are using the Steltor CorporateTime version of the calendar application, you may see an error the next time you log in.
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Vulnerability Found in New Mac OS-X Application Manager

DOE's Computer Incident Advisory Capability has issued a notice that a problem has been identified in the Macintosh application manager that allows a new process to start in the context of the front process. If the front process is a "suid" root application, the new process starts with root access.
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Computing News is maintained by Jon Bashor.