January, 2004
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Lab-Standard PCs Now Offer More Processor Choices, Office 2003 Software
The latest PC configuration based on the MPC (formerly Micron) ClientPro 345 has some changes under the Lab’s Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) for PCs, on both the software and hardwire side.

Buying a Computer for Personal Use? It Pays to Shop Around

An article in the December Computing and Communications Services News referred Lab employees to special discount programs provided by Dell and MPC for buying computers for personal use. Though the discounts may sound good, it pays to shop around – as one Lab employee recently discovered. Here is his story:

Taking On-Site Computer Training? Classes Now Held in Bldg. 90-026

As reported last month, on-site computer training classes are now being offered in Bldg. 90, room 0026 - on the basement level. The old training room in Bldg. 51L is being demolished as part of the work around Bldg. 51. Otherwise, a list of computer classes is available under the Training option of the Employee Self-Service website.

Dell Issues Notice of Faulty Fans on Precision Workstation Models 340 and 350

Dell has sent out a letter noting some issues with the processor fans (3.06GHZ) used on the 340/350 series workstations – shipped between 11/1/02 and 6/20/03 - which could cause them to fail. “Although there are no thermal/cooling concerns associated with this issue, we want to avoid the possibility and inconvenience of a fan failure for our customers,” the letter says, adding “there is no potential for processor or system damage as a result of this issue.”

Dell will send a service provider to replace the fans free of charge. To arrange for a swap, call toll-free at 1-866-342-0013.

 Protecting Your Computer
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Steve Lau
Jan. 28 Computer Protection Brown Bag to Highlight Spinning Cube of Doom
The next Computer Protection Brown Bag event will feature Steve Lau of NERSC speaking on "The Spinning Cube of Potential Doom." The talk is on Thursday, January 28, at noon, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. Lau will be talking about his work in graphically visualizing malicious traffic on the Internet using network information collected by the Bro intrusion detection system. The "Cube" was originally developed as an educational tool for attendees of SC2003. However, it is also useful for monitoring the overall level of continual malicious traffic on the Internet.

Hands-on Course on Windows XP Security to Be Offered Jan. 27
The Computer Protection Program is offering a free course, "Windows XP Security Hands-on.” The primary goal is to teach Windows XP users and system administrators not only what must be done to secure their XP systems, but also how to do it. A course description is here.

The Bad Guys Are at it Again – Windows XP Users Beware
Windows XP users -- you may receive a message that begins with: “Window Update has determined that you are running a beta version of Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1).” The message contains an attachment named "Winxp_sp1.exe," which if downloaded (as the message urges users to do) will cause your system to be infected with a Trojan horse program, TROJ_XOMBE.A. So if you receive this message, just delete it. Be sure not forward it to anyone else.

Guide to Protecting Your Home Computer Now Available
Home computers can be even more vulnerable to cyber attacks than Lab systems. To help computer users keep their home systems secure, the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center has created a roadmap.

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Monthly Virus Update
A new version of the Mimail worm, Download.Mimail.B, is one of the newest threats. Visit the CPP website for more information concerning this variant.