Information Technology

Power Supply Fire/Electric Shock Hazard from non-Apple Branded Power Supply

A power supply for MacBook laptop computers made by the company "Safety Mark" has been found to be defective. If you use a power supply made by "Safety Mark," we urge you to discontinue its use immediately. If you use this power supply with a college-owned computer, please visit our office in Seeley Mudd so we may replace it with an original power supply from Apple.

The power supply from "Safety Mark" may short and/or overheat, creating a hazardous situation that could cause fire and/or an electric shock. Here are pictures of the power supply:

IT Job Opening: Susan and Kenneth Kermes Technology Fellow

Information Technology seeks a graduating senior or recent Amherst graduate to serve in a one-year position as the Susan and Kenneth Kermes Technology Fellow. The position will begin July 1, 2015 and end June 30, 2016. The fellow will be a member of IT Support Services and will support the use of computing devices by students, faculty, and staff. The skills and talents of the successful candidate and the needs of the department will determine the content of the fellowship.

Duties and Responsibilities

Website Forms to Include Challenge-Response Mechanism Starting in March

In an effort to protect the integrity of publicly viewable web forms on the college website, all web forms will include a challenge-response field known as “CAPTCHA", starting in early March. The CAPTCHA will only be present to users who are not logged into the college website.

Support for Java Applets in Campus Workstations

We have received reports from several students to inform us that some websites required for assignments are not loading properly on campus workstations. Some of these websites require the use of Java, which over the past few years has become very restrictive in terms of security. In order for the websites to work properly, we will need to add an exception to the Java security settings so the websites faculty assign work across computing devices on campus.

Phishing/Spam/Email Fraud Alert: {SPAM?} Update your Amherst College Account

Many people at Amherst have received a phishing or fraudulent email designed to have you provide your Amherst log on credentials.  Reminder - never share your Amherst user name and password with anyone.

The phishing email has the subject line:
{SPAM?} Update your Amherst College Account

We placed a sample of this email on our list of known phishing attacks:

Amherst VPN Upgrade

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the IT department upgraded the following VPN services: VPN Student, VPN Connect (faculty and staff), and VPN Firewall. If you use one of these services you will need to take action in order to take advantage of the upgrade.

Plan for Upgrade to OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) for College-Owned Computers

Apple released its latest computer operating system, OS X version 10.10, also known as Yosemite, in October 2014. We have been monitoring software compatibility very closely to determine when such deployment for college-owned computers would cause the least impact. We will begin offering Yosemite for office and mobile computers in May 2015, after the end of the academic year.

NBC HD to Replace ABC HD on Ch 63.2 from Friday to Monday

In order to accommodate NBC HD on Ch 63.2 for the viewing of Super Bowl through our Cable TV provider, ABC HD will be unavailable Friday morning to Monday morning. ABC SD, Ch 5, will continue to be available. Please modify scheduled recordings you may have from ABC HD to ABC SD from Friday morning to Monday morning. You may contact us at, if you have any questions or concerns.

Watch out for IRS Phone Fraud Scam!

Please be careful if you receive a phone call or voice mail message purporting to be from the IRS about pursuing legal action. There are also variations of this scam involving parking tickets, real estate taxes, and foreclosures. This is a widespread phone fraud operation ongoing since at least March 2014. People have reported to the IT Help Desk that they have received these fraudulent phone calls at their home, cellular and campus phone numbers.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do: