Information Technology

Crypto Malware Continues to be a Computer Security Threat

UMass Amherst, Smith and Mt. Holyoke are reporting incidents of Windows computers infected with  malware that encrypts the hard drive and asks for payment of a ransom before a deadline. There are many variants of this malware generally known as "crypto malware" or "crypto ransomware". CryptoLocker is one variant of it that has been in the news and new variants continue to appear.

New Mac Operating System OS X 10.10 Yosemite Upgrade Information

Apple released a new Mac computer operating system yesterday, known as Yosemite or OS X version 10.10. Yosemite may not be fully compatible with some software applications used for academic purposes at Amherst College. We recommend that faculty and staff do not install Yosemite on their notebooks or office workstations at this time. We prefer not to deploy such major upgrades during the academic year, to prevent a disruption of current projects and academic plans for students and faculty.

TechTalks - John Sileo to Speak on Defending Digital Devices

UMass TechTalk
John Sileo on Defending Your Digital Devices

A fun, non-technical learning experience on your personal information and identity safety delivered by a leading speaker and expert on identity theft and online privacy.

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Student Union Ballroom UMass Amherst

Register for this Event

This event is free and open to all. Registration required.

iOS 8 devices not connecting to Apple TVs

Apple recently released an update to iOS 8 for the iPhone and iPad. We are aware of an issue with iOS 8 that prevents iPhones and iPads from establishing a successful connection with Apple TVs in the classrooms. If you have an iPhone or an iPad and have not upgraded to iOS 8, please do not update at this time. If you have updated already, please be aware of this issue. We are evaluating the situation and will provide more details as more information becomes available.

Computer Security Notice - New Web Browser Vulnerability

A new web browser vulnerability has come to light. The web browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox as well as the web email application Mozilla Thunderbird have updates available today that address this serious computer security issue. Please make sure to update your web browser as soon as possible to proctect your computer, your own data and privacy and College data.

See our instructions on how to Check the Version of and Update Web Browsers.

Computer Security Notice - Bash or Shellshock Bug

Apple will release Mac OS X updates shorlty also to address this issue. When an operating system update is available for your Mac make sure to run it. iOS mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) and Windows computers should not be vulnerable to this exploit.

More information about this issue:

College network resources and software management tools are being examined and updated as needed against this exploit.

Upgrading to iOS 8: Feature to avoid for now

For those with iOS devices - iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch, there is now an upgrade to iOS 8 available. iOS 8 is the latest instance of the iOS operating system.

It is fine to go ahead and upgrade your iOS devices to iOS 8 if you wish. As always, you should make sure to back up your device by plugging it into a Mac computer first then do the upgrade.

Warning! Recall on Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC Power Cords

Warning! There is a recall on some HP notebook chargers, they’re a fire hazard.

The recall is for Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC power cords that were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers, and with AC adapter-powered accessories including docking stations.

Our College-owned notebooks and docking stations are from Dell and Lenovo but if you have a personal computer from HP please check and make sure if your power cord, docking station or AC adapter-powered accessories are part of the recall.

Email Attachments Don't Work for Web Mail with Chrome

The latest update to the Google Chrome web browser contains a bug that prevents you from attaching a file to an email when using Amherst Web Mail, a.k.a. Outlook Web App (OWA). In the meantime, if you need to send an email with an attachment, you'll need to use an alternate web browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. We tested and attachments work fine with those three browsers, just currently not with Chrome.

Some more information: