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September 2006


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IT logoFigure 1. [click to enlarge]

Email Recharge Rates Cut

The charge for email storage in excess of 100 MB will be reduced from $1.40/MB to $0.50/MB, effective October 1. The current cap of $300/month will remain unchanged. Figure 1 shows the annual email recharge cost reduction (before G&A burden) that divisions can expect in FY07 if email storage use remains largely the same as in FY06. Go here to see the annual recharge cost reduction by division. Customers' requests to raise the 100MB limit were considered, but Labwide budget considerations made that difficult at this time. IT is committed to continuing our efforts to increase free storage capacity in the future. This reduction reflects efforts by the IT Division to provide services as efficiently as we can.


Ergonomics for Laptop Users

Here are some steps users can take to reduce and/or prevent discomfort due to laptop use:

For more information, contact EH&S Division (x7170).

IBM logo

IBM, Lenovo Recall Batteries Due to Potential Fire Risk

IBM Corporation and Lenovo are recalling Sony batteries sold in certain ThinkPad series laptops sold between February 2005 and September 2006. To find out if your battery is at risk, go here, or call the IT Help Desk (x4357). If your battery is recalled, you may continue to use your laptop safely by turning the system off, ejecting the battery, and using the AC adapter and power cord until the replacement arrives. For detailed FAQs, go here.

Calendar logo

Calendar Data Purged and Terms Updated

To ensure good system performance, the IT Division will be purging Calendar data older than 24 months beginning Oct. 1. To this aim, Calendar will be available for login, but unresponsive, for the following hours over the next six months:

Monday - Saturday mornings:  2 - 5 a.m.
Sunday morning:  1 a.m. - noon

After initial purges, IT will continue to delete all records older than 24 months each Sunday as a standard maintenance practice. This means that the previous two years of data, plus all future data, will be kept in Calendar on a continual basis. For instructions on how to export your old Calendar data, go here. To read Calendar's updated Terms of Service, go here.


Printer Repair

HP printer

HP printers are the recommended standard for LBNL. IT initiates and manages contracts for the repair of IT Division-recommended network-connected printers. IT choses vendors based on their ability to do high quality (HP-certified) warranty support. Most Lab printers are serviced by SSP, a local technology services company. Xerox Phasers are more expensive, and cannot be maintained by SSP. Laserlite out of Livermore will support most models, but labor costs are significantly higher. Staff members included in the Workstation Standardization and Centralization (WSC) program can read more about WSC printer repair details here. For printer repairs, contact the IT Help Desk (x4357).


Protecting Your Computer

IE logo

IE Cyber Risk: Patch Your Windows Now

A new vulnerability in Window's Internet Explorer has been found and users need to patch their systems quickly. Windows systems that are already in Active Directory (AD), which includes 90 percent of Lab systems, will be automatically patched. Systems not in AD should join AD to get this patch and future patches. To join AD, go here. Systems that cannot join AD, can install the patch manually. For details on this vulnerability and to install the patch manually, go here. For help, please call the IT Help Desk (x4357).

Use Caution with Web Application Software

The few recent successful cyber attacks against Berkeley Lab have been due to computer owners running vulnerable web applications software.  Notorious examples include tikkiwikki, yappa-ng, and phpBB. Computer owners should be aware of the risks due to ongoing vulnerabilities being discovered in this type of software. Web application software designed for collaborating, blogging, wiki, or other applications, has become extremely easy for individuals to install, thus contributing to wider usage. Added to this, web application software comes under heavy attack because its very nature exposes it to the Internet. These applications are often attacked very quickly after (sometimes even before!) vulnerabilities are announced, leaving the user very little time to patch the system — sometimes just minutes.

Users should exercise caution before running web application software and consider whether they understand the software sufficiently to know how to secure it. If users decide to run web application software they should ensure they keep the version of the software current, limit exposure to the software to only the systems requiring access, monitor for vulnerabilities in the software and react quickly to them.

Computer worm image

Monthly Virus Update: More Than 104,000 Worms Gone for Good

The Lab's virus wall continues to guard LBNL systems against worm and virus infections. Last month it detected and destroyed 104,902 worms and viruses, almost all of which targeted Windows systems. The number is similar to the number in July, which was 103,848. As a best practice, users should continue to be wary of unexpected emails and attachments.

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