September, 2005
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Lab-supported DSL Ends This Month

The Lab-supported DSL service ends Friday, Sept. 30. Employees designated by their division management as requiring high-speed home access can choose their own service provider, and the Lab will reimburse users for 50 percent of the cost. The change is expected to significantly reduce the cost to the Lab while ensuring compliance with DOE guidelines. For details, go here.

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IT to Lower Cost of Desktop Phone Calls

Desktop phone rates have been reduced by 60 percent for international calls and 30 percent for domestic and local calls for FY06. The monthly phone service charge has also been reduced by 10 percent. These rate reductions are due to the completion of the Labwide communication cable upgrade project, which involved upgrading most in-building voice and network wiring, and efficiencies within Telephone Services. For current rates, go here.

Dialup Service To Change

LBLnet, which provided internal dialup service (PPP) to the Lab (including 1-800-525-3282) has outsourced the service to SBC. Users who already have DSL at home can take advantage of a free dialup account through their broadband vendor. Contact the vendor directly for instructions on activation. Users who wish to continue dialup, but do not have DSL at home, must email a project ID to by Monday, Oct. 10. The cost is $14.95/month plus taxes and SBC surcharges. This shift decreases internal IT costs and monthly charges to users.

Appletalk/IPX Phase Out Continues

The IT Division continues to phase out older network protocols (Appletalk, IPX and DECnet). The Appletalk resource website contains a schedule for key subnets and the buildings they impact. The project will be completed by Friday, Nov. 11.  Questions? Call the IT Help Desk (x4357).

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DOE’s ESnet to Host 2nd Collaboration Workshop Oct. 12-14 at LBNL

Researchers who regularly use ESnet’s Collaboration Services—or who want to learn more about these services—are invited to attend ESnet’s second collaboration meeting to help plan the future direction of ESnet Collaboration Services. Users, engineers and managers of collaboration services at all DOE/ESnet research centers are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held Oct. 12-14, 2005, at Berkeley Lab. Read more.

Audio Conference Bridges Outsourced to MCI

IT is outsourcing audio conference bridges to MCI, decreasing the cost from 23 cents/minute to 7 cents/minute. Previously, Telephone Services set up conferences during working hours by providing users with a bridge number. Now MCI will be available twenty-four/seven. One drawback is that the former 1-800 number for international participants is no longer available; those participants will need to call the number directly and incur the cost. For details, call Telephone Services (x7997).

Service Tip

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eRoom Expands to Labwide Service

The IT Divisionís eRoom service is a Web-based collaborative workspace that provides users with the ability to access task lists, databases, polling, project plans, chat and files (with version control). eRoom offers cross-platform usability and can be configured to meet a groupís specific needs. It has been used successfully by various groups at LBNL. eRoom is planned to be offered as a recharged service in FY06 with rates at $12/month per person (regardless of the number of eRooms used) and $2.50/gigabyte per month for eRooms using more than 1 gigabyte of space. Additional charges for time and materials for setup, consulting and training may be incurred. Go here for details. To create an eRoom, send email to

 Protecting Your Computer
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Make Your Passwords Stronger

In the last year, 25 percent of successful intrusions into Lab computer systems were accomplished by exploiting weak passwords. Hackers found exploitable passwords like "12345,” "test," and account names doubling as passwords, and used them to break into Lab systems.  In some cases, auxiliary programs, such as MSSQL, retained their factory default passwords. Although intrusion techniques have grown increasingly more sophisticated, the good ol’ password guessing attack is alive and well.  Use strong passwords and change default passwords.  For advice on creating a password, go here.

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New Email Viruses Spreading

Over the past few weeks eight Lab systems have fallen victim to email viruses. In most cases, extremely new variants of email viruses have rendered anti-virus software ineffective. The Computer Protection Program recommends taking precautions to avoid getting infected with a new variant of an email virus that has yet to be detected by anti-virus software. Read more.

Windows Automatic Update Doesn’t Patch All Vulnerabilities

Windows Automatic Update, which is installed by default as the Lab standard, provides valuable cyber security, but it does not patch all possible vulnerabilities in Windows systems. Neither does it patch all vulnerabilities in Microsoft products on a system. Its purpose is to solely patch the operating system, but this does not include such add-on applications as MSSQL, IIS, or Office.  Read more.

Beware of Internet Scammers for Katrina Relief

Although it is possible to donate via the Web to many legitimate charities for Hurricane Katrina relief, an unprecedented number of scammers, worm authors and credit card phishers have risen in the wake. Beware of pseudo-charities that act as false fronts for organizations you may not wish to associate with. Do not give your credit card or social security number until you have verified legitimacy. Visit the Better Business Bureau website to investigate a charity's purpose, efficiency and financial transparency. Go here for a giving guide.

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Monthly Virus Update: More Than 46,000 Worms Eradicated

The Lab's virus wall continues to guard LBNL systems against worm and virus infections. Last month it detected and eradicated 46,025 worms and viruses, almost all of which targeted Windows systems. In contrast, the number in July was 33,924.