September, 2004

Sam Houston

LDAP Passwords Take On a New Face

Sam Houston the Lab’s Site Access Office puts a personal and friendly face on the process of getting an LDAP password for new Lab employees. In the past, new employees called the Help Desk to get their password, but the Help Desk had no way of verifying callers’ identities. Today passwords are distributed face to face at the same time that employees receive their badge, making distribution more secure and giving employees immediate access to email. Read more.

Wireless Network Services Made More Secure

Increasing cyber security threats and regulatory requirements have led the LBLnet team to add new defenses to the Lab's wireless networking facilities. They've stepped up protection, particularly against worms and viruses aimed at Windows systems on the wireless network. Read more.

More Mozilla Tips and Tricks for Browsing and Email

One useful feature of Mozilla that makes web browsing more convenient is tabbed browsing, which allows multiple web sessions to run in the same window. You can simply switch to another session by clicking on its tab. To learn more about tabbed browsing and how to located missing email attachments, read more.

Don't Fall for the Latest Internet Hoax

The latest Internet hoax is in the form of what looks like a message from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis announcing that NPRC is planning to destroy all paper military records. Several web sites also have postings with this alleged destruction of military records. A NPRC spokesperson denied that they plan to destroy any of their records. Beware of this hoax!

ESnet’s Collaboration Services Workshop Next Month

ESnet will hold a workshop in Auditorium 66 from Oct. 27 - 29 to help plan the future directions for ESnet Collaboration Services. ESnet Collaboration Services provides a number of online services aimed at improving collaboration among researchers at the national laboratories and universities served by ESnet. Read more.

New Scientific Clusters

Where it all begins

These newly-arrived boxes are clusters waiting to be assembled by the Scientific Cluster Support (SCS) team. On the left are components for a planned 256-processor Infiniband cluster belonging to Earth Sciences. It will be used to develop solutions to large scale forward and inverse modeling problems based on electromagnetic and seismic wave fields to better characterize complex geological systems. On the right are boxes that will soon be a 72-processor Myrinet Linux cluster for Marvin Cohen and Steven Louie in Material Sciences. This cluster will be running first-principles quantum-mechanical simulations that will predict and understand the fundamental properties of exotic materials with potential technological applications.

Up and running

These are twin clusters for Chemical Sciences. On the left is a 46-processor Linux cluster, which belongs to the William Lester Group, went into production this month. It’s used to develop the Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) method or application to the electronic structure of atoms and molecules. On the right is a 42-processor Opteron cluster is being installed for Martin Head-Gordon. His group will use this cluster to perform electronic structure calculations on molecular systems ranging from combustion-related radicals to nanomaterials, and for the development of new algorithms for such calculations.

Service Tip

IMAGE: Computer

Did you know that ITSD supports scientific clusters for the Lab?

With twelve Linux clusters in production and more coming in the door, ITSD’s Scientific Cluster Support (SCS) team has been busy building and running Linux clusters for Berkeley Lab scientists. Now offered as a Lab service, the SCS team provides cost-effective pre-purchase consulting, configuration, and ongoing system administration support to Linux clusters for scientific research. If your group is interested in these services, see the project web site or contact SCS Project Manager Gary Jung at x4894.

 Protecting Your Computer

Computer Protection Brown Bag Event on October 12 to Cover Computer Forensics

The number of security-related incidents is at an all-time high, and this makes conducting incident investigations in a way that preserves legal evidence more important than ever. The next Computer Protection Brown Bag Event will be at noon on Tuesday, October 12, in Bldg. 70A-3377. Charles Hessifer of Guidance Software will talk about computer forensics and demonstrate forensics software. Bring your lunch and your questions.

Microsoft Announces Fix for Major Security Flaw in Windows Systems, Applications

A major security flaw in the way Windows systems and applications handle the .jpeg graphics format could allow a rogue program to execute if a user simply views a .jpeg file on a web site or in other usage contexts. The execution of this program could allow an attacker to take over your system. If you use Windows, you need to patch your system. Read more.

The November 1 Deadline Is Approaching: Are You Ready for Encrypted Logons?

On November 1 cleartext logons to Lab mail servers will no longer be allowed. If you use a Lab-version of Mozilla, your system has been reconfigured, and your logins are already encrypted. If you use Netscape Messenger to connect to the central Lab mail server (imap4), be sure to follow the instructions to enable SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption when you connect. . If you use any other mail client please configure it so that it will make an SSL connection to the IMAP server. Questions? Call the Help Desk at x4357.

Windows XP Security Hands-on Course to Be Taught October 20

Enrollment is now open for the upcoming Windows XP security hands-on course on Wednesday, October 20 in Bldg. 90-0026 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A course description is available online. Enrollment is also available and limited, so don't delay.

The New Worm on the Cyber Scene

The Beagle.AQ worm, a variant of the prolific Beagle worm family that attacks Windows systems, surfaced last month. Although many copies of Beagle.AQ were sent to Lab users before the virus wall vendor provided the necessary updates, not a single user opened the attachment! Shortly after Beagle.AQ appeared, the Lab's virus wall administrators implemented another virus wall as a second line of defense. Read more.

Monthly Virus Update: More than 110,000 Viruses Stopped Cold

The Lab’s virus wall continued to find and eradicate worms and viruses—more than 110,000 last month. Worms and viruses that infect Windows systems once again dominated the landscape with Netsky.P worm leading the pack. Read more.