University Technology

University Technology Announcements

Reminder: Some technology purchases require IT Governance prior approval

March 13, 2017

WIU employees: you prepare to purchase, create bid specifications for the purchase of, or otherwise procure technology or technology-related products and services, please keep in mind that some such purchases and projects require prior approval by the University's IT Governance process. Adherence to IT Governance requirements applies regardless of the means of payment (if any) - whether purchase order (PO), direct pay authorization (DPA), P-card, or procurement at no cost.

What requires IT Governance approval prior to purchase?

Requests from the University community for technology-related improvements and purchases of equipment, software, or services that meet one or more of the following criteria must receive prior approval through IT governance:

  • Impacts the University significantly from a directional, policy, services, systems, security, financial process, operational, or strategic perspective.
  • Integrates with one or more existing systems (software, hardware, infrastructure, or administrative or academic data).
  • Requires significant funding. IT expenditures exceeding the current designated threshold of $15,000 require prior IT governance approval.

The IT Governance Council, which provides final approval of those requests requiring IT governance approval (not all requests require Council approval), usually meets in scheduled, public meetings only once or twice per semester. The IT Governance Council will meet for the last time this semester on Tuesday, April 18, 1:00-2:00 pm, in the University Union Capitol Rooms.

For more information about IT Governance - including justification, structure, and process - see the IT Governance website at http://www.wiu.edu/itgov or email AskITGov@wiu.edu.

IT Governance Executive Committee
wiu.edu/itgov | AskITGov@wiu.edu

uTech Annual Planning & Accomplishments Presentation Scheduled for Feb. 22

February 15, 2017

The university community is invited to attend the 2017 uTech Annual Planning and Accomplishments Presentations on Wednesday, February 22 from 1-4pm in Horrabin Hall 1. Video conference to the Quad Cities campus will be provided in QC 2128. An estimated start time for each presentation can be found below:

  • 1:00pm: uTech Employee of the Year and Team of the Quarter Awards ~ Clinton Pedigo
  • 1:20pm: Introduction and uTech Overview ~ Stephen Frazier
  • 1:35pm: Infrastructure Update - Overview, Networks, Telecommunications, Servers, Enterprise Systems ~ Dan Romano
  • 1:55pm: Administration Information Management Systems ~ Stacie Hunt
  • 2:15pm - IT Security ~ Robert Emmert 
  • 2:35pm - Break
  • 2:40pm - Quad Cities Technology ~ Jeff Calhoun
  • 3:00pm - Center for the Application of Information Technologies ~ Paul Sweet
  • 3:20pm - Web Services ~ Jeremy Merritt
  • 3:40pm - User Support Services ~ Rebecca Slater
  • 4:00pm - Budget ~ Kathy Barrett
  • 4:10pm - Closing Comments, Summary ~ Stephen Frazier

Chrome Users Targeted with Malware via New "Font Wasn't Found" Technique

January 25, 2017

Google Chrome users need to be on the lookout for websites trying to trick them into downloading a font update package for their browser, as most chances are that the file is laced with malware.

This infection technique was discovered by Proofpoint researchers, who say that only Chrome users on Windows are targeted, only from specific countries, and only if they navigated to a compromised website using a specific route (referrer), such as search engine results.

View more details and learn how to protect yourself.

Notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Regarding Employment Scams Targeting College Students

January 20, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued an alert regarding an email scam targeting college students. In brief:

College students across the United States continue to be targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This "employment" results in a financial loss for participating students.

The following are some examples of the employment scam e-mails:

"You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay."

"I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training."

"Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies."

Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.

Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.

Forward suspicious e-mails to the college’s IT personnel and report to the FBI. Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.

Review the complete FBI alert at ic3.gov.

Notice from the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology Regarding Recent Phishing Attempts

January 12, 2017

The following message is from the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT):

"Cybersecurity continues to be a growing threat and we, as state employees, are often the first line of defense. The DoIT Security Team has seen a significant increase in phishing attempts recently, and we want to bring this to your attention and reinforce best practices.

"As a reminder, phishing (pronounced fishing) is a type of deception or fraud that uses email messages, websites or phone calls to dishonestly exploit sensitive information from you. Phishing links can also install malicious software on your computer.

"In the recent phishing incident, state employees received phone calls. They specifically received a call from the number 855-683-5473. The call states that a security breach has been detected on your computer and requests a call back. If you receive this call or a similar unusual request, do not return the call and contact our DoIT Help Desk immediately through the online Report A Problem link (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/support/Pages/ReportAProblem.aspx).

"Please know that DoIT does not leave a voicemail or email message requesting you to contact us at any number other than the Help Desk numbers or a specific DoIT employee. Any email or phone communication that directs you to other numbers should be considered suspicious and reported to the Help Desk immediately.

"For more information, please visit DoIT’s Cybersecurity page at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/ or contact our security team at DoIT.Security@illinois.gov. Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to protect our state for a more cyber secure Illinois."

Andy Woerly Managing uTech's Special Projects

January 11, 2017

Andy Woerly

We are pleased to announce that Andy Woerly has offered to step in and fill a gap within uTech of managing special projects. Special projects are projects internal to uTech that do not clearly fall under any specific uTech area of responsibility.

Reporting to Rebecca Slater, he will be responsible for managing special projects within uTech to ensure they are delivered on time and within scope. In addition, he will be designing and implementing project management standards, including development of tools and templates that will be utilized to manage projects.

Andy came to WIU in 2000 as a research and instructional technical consultant in academic computing. He served as interim director of Academic Computing from 2000 to 2001. While managing the server and desktop support environments, Andy served on the Data Transfer Task Force that streamlined equipment needs while establishing new standards based on strategic plans. In 2008, Andy was chosen to manage Classroom Support Services and lead multiple classroom and conference room upgrade projects across campus, as well as participated in QC campus technology planning. Prior to working at Western, he was a LAN administrator with McDonough District Hospital in Macomb. He has also worked as a controller and system administrator with Marriott in Florida. Andy earned his Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, with a minor in Religious Studies from Western Illinois University. He also has a CompTIA Project+ certification.

Please join us in congratulating Andy on his new role!

Welcome Daniel Leeds to uTech!

January 9, 2017

Daniel LeedsPlease welcome Daniel Leeds to University Technology!

Dan started as a full-time helpdesk technician in the Support Center on December 21. He is no stranger to many of you - not only did he earn his Computer Science degree at WIU, but he previously worked for uTech as a student employee in the Support Center. As a student employee, Dan enjoyed the work and his various colleagues within the Support Center. He now looks forward to assisting the members of the university in a full-time capacity.

Join us in welcoming Dan to the team, and make sure you say hello the next time you are in Stipes Hall!

Welcome Rebecca Slater to uTech!

January 4, 2017

Rebecca SlaterWe are pleased to announce that Rebecca Slater has joined Western Illinois University effective January 3 as the Director of User Support Services in University Technology. She will be overseeing the Help Desk, Desktop Support, Classroom Support services, and the uTech Labs. Rebecca comes to us from the Memorial Health System in Springfield, Illinois, where she served as the Information Security Officer. She has extensive experience in user support, compliance, risk management, business continuity, project management, process improvement, and fiscal responsibility.

Rebecca is looking forward to working with our University’s community! She is customer-oriented and has a proven track record of working with a technologically-diverse population. One of her first initiatives will be to collaborate with the colleges and departments to refine or develop common expectations of service and support. Her knowledge of IT best practices will benefit the maturity level of uTech’s user support services, helping to increase overall user satisfaction across both campuses.

She earned her Master of Business Administration – IT Management from Western Governors University in 2016.

Rebecca can be reached at the uTech Support Center in Stipes Hall or by calling (309) 298-1177 or via email at R-Slater@wiu.edu. Please join us in welcoming Rebecca to Western!

How to Report Phishing & Spam Emails in Gmail

December 13, 2016

Now that the University has migrated to Gmail and Google Apps for Education (now known as G Suite), we wanted to inform you that the way you report suspicious emails has changed.

There are two types of suspicious emails that can be reported to Gmail - spam and phishing. While unsolicited spam messages are aggravating to deal with, phishing messages can be dangerous and result in compromised personal data, loss of finances, etc.

To Report Spam

To mark an email message as spam, simply click the “Report Spam” icon within Gmail . The more you report email messages as spam, the better Gmail gets at automatically marking similar messages as spam in the future. There is no need to report or forward spam messages to the uTech Support Center.

To Report Phishing

Some spammers send fraudulent mass-messages called ‘phishing.' These messages are intended to obtain your personal information (such as usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information, etc.).  If you receive one of these messages:

  1. Forward the original message to phishing-report@wiu.edu .
  2. Then, mark the email message as a phishing attempt within Gmail. Click the down arrow next to Reply button at the top-right of the message pane, and select Report Phishing . This will automatically send a notification to the Gmail Team alerting them of the message. This will also label the message as spam, removing it from your inbox.

You should always be wary of any messages that ask for your personal information, or messages that refer you to a web page asking for personal information.

Information Technology Strategic Plan Review

November 17, 2016

Work on the 2017-2022 version of the Western Illinois University Information Technology Strategic Plan began over a year ago when University Technology Advisory Group (UTAG) members reviewed and edited the 2013-2018 version in a series of sessions. The primary focus at that time was centered on removing accomplished items and rewording endeavors that were in progress. Since then, Stephen Frazier, CIO, researched what other universities and colleges were including in their newer IT strategic plans as well as numerous predictions of the future for technology and higher education.

The University Technology staff has vetted this draft. It has also been shared for comment with various governance groups including UTAG, the Council for Instructional Technology, the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association, and the Deans and Directors that report directly to the Provost. In the spring semester, it will be presented to the President’s Cabinet and then the Board of Trustees for their ratification.

We encourage the University community to review and provide feedback on the draft 2017-2022 IT Strategic Plan. The document and its feedback form are only available to Western Illinois University employees and students and require that you be logged on using your university-assigned credentials. Please feel free to also email feedback to Stephen Frazier, CIO, at SL-Frazier@wiu.edu. He is also available to speak to groups upon invitation.

To access the draft document and feedback form, please visit www.wiu.edu/itstrategicplan.

IT Governance Council Meeting Scheduled for Nov. 16

November 3, 2016

The campus community is invited to attend the first IT Governance Council Meeting of the academic year on November 16 at 3 p.m. in Horrabin Hall 1. CODEC will be available in Quad Cities campus room 1130. Scheduled to be discussed is a proposal on implementing workstation power management across the University.

CAIT Crowdfunding Campaign to Translate i-Pathways to Spanish

October 1, 2016

In the past two years, the GED Testing Service issued over 107,000 Spanish GED tests across the country with only approximately 28,000 Spanish test takers passing successfully. This is a 26 percent passing rate. Why such a low pass rate? What is the problem?

The problem is High School Equivalency Exam prep materials are not readily available in Spanish!

I-Pathways, a nonprofit project housed at the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) at Western Illinois University is on a mission to change that, and we need professionals like you to join us in this important effort. Our goal is to translate i-Pathways’ vetted curriculum into Spanish, creating the first approved digital curriculum and instruction program for Spanish-speaking adults.

We provide approved and vetted online learning and test preparation for High School Equivalency Exams, including the GED, HiSET and TASC tests. In order to translate our entire curriculum, which includes over 160 lessons in basic math, math, social studies, science, basic writing, language arts, and consumer education to Spanish, we are on a nation-wide mission to raise $200,000 by Nov. 5. Will you support us in this effort?

We want to see these students succeed, and we know you do too! As the Hispanic population in the United States continues to increase, providing learners with an equal opportunity to earn their high school credentials becomes even more important.

In appreciation for joining us in our mission, we are happy to provide you with access to voucher codes to the Spanish i-Pathways content to be distributed to members of your community.

  • Five voucher codes for a $500 donation.
  • 10 voucher codes for a $1,000 donation.
  • 15 voucher codes for a $1,500 donation.

Not familiar with i-Pathways yet? Visit us at www.i-pathways.org/ and www.i-pathways.org/donate and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see how we are preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Sincerely,

i-Pathways

PS. Supporting this important project is easy!

ONLINE: Visit http://www.i-pathways.org/donate

MOBILE: Text the word “APOYO” to the number “41444”

MAIL TO: WIU Foundation, Sherman Hall 303 #1 University Circle Macomb IL 61455-1390 Make checks payable to WIU Foundation – iPathways Campaign

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 1, 2016

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) - a collaborative effort started in 2003 between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

Each week throughout October is focused on a different cybersecurity issue. The first week’s topic is STOP. THINK. CONNECT.: The Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security.

Whether banking, shopping, social networking, tracking your health or downloading the latest app, in today’s interconnected world, practicing good cybersecurity is critical. All digital citizens must learn to stay safer and more secure in their ever-expanding digital lives, including by preventing and responding to identity theft and scams, ensuring that home networks are secure, managing the security of mobile devices and teaching others to use the Internet safely, securely and responsibly.

WIU’s University Tecnology (uTech) will be promoting the weekly NCSAM topics by means of a website (wiu.edu/ncsam), social media, campus digital signage and more. We encourage you follow us during the month of October to learn more about keeping yourself safe online.

Recent Social Engineering Phone Scams

August 10, 2016

Several employees at WIU have received phone calls from individuals claiming to be from PC Solutions, Dell, or other companies, advising that there are problems with the individual’s computers. If you receive such a call, please hang up immediately as they are scams intended to gain access to your computer system and personal/company data. View more information on phone and other types of scams and how to protect yourself.

uTech Computer Store Closing July 29

July 14, 2016

The uTech Computer Store, located in the concourse of the University Union on WIU’s Macomb campus, will permanently close at the end of the business day on Friday, July 29, 2016. Most other University Technology (uTech) support services (including help desk services) will continue to be available to University students and employees at the uTech Support Center in Stipes Hall 126.

Individuals placing special orders for personally-owned Apple computer hardware or accessories through the store must do so before the close of business tomorrow (Friday, July 15). All in-stock inventory has been significantly reduced in price in an effort to sell by July 29. After this date, departments are encouraged to contact University Technology (uTech) for pre-purchasing assistance of institutional computer acquisitions.

uTech is considering options to continue providing warranty repairs for Apple & Dell products as well as other non-warranty repairs to enrolled students. Unfortunately, repair services for University employees’ personally-owned hardware will no longer be offered.

More information will be forthcoming. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Morgan, Director of University Technology/User Support Services, at CK-Morgan@wiu.edu or (309) 298-3514.

Report of Phishing Email

July 12, 2016

Many members of Western Illinois University received a phishing email scam recently.  View more information on this problem, and how you can protect yourself. If you received this message, please delete it immediately. Do not reply to it, and do not click on any links found in this email.

Wireless changes postponed

July 12, 2016

Due to several outstanding technical issues discovered during recent testing, University Technology is postponing the retirement of the "WIU-SECURE" and "WIU-GUEST" Wi-Fi hotspots that was previously scheduled to occur on July 18. We will tentatively reschedule this change for a future date, possibly between the fall and spring semesters.

We still recommend that all university employees and students make an effort to use WIU's new wireless internet schema by connecting to the "WIU-Setup" network, opening a browser, and following the on-screen instructions to register their wireless device. However, at this time, the legacy WIU-SECURE and WIU-GUEST hotspots will continue to function.

We will update the campus community when a new date has been selected for this change. Thank you for understanding.

WIU's CAIT Offers Correctional GED Preparation Curriculum

June 8 2016

The Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) at Western Illinois University is working on a national project that has never before been attempted in the United States. The center is successfully providing correctional facilities with an internet-based high school equivalency program, known as i-Pathways, for inmates to use while incarcerated.

Read more about this great project in the university press release.

Third-Party Security Breach Notifications

June 15 2016

Starting today, University Technology will automatically notify you if your WIU email address was found in a data breach at a third-party. Our Technology Security group is using security researcher Troy Hunt's website haveibeenpwned.com to monitor for WIU.edu email addresses found in publicly leaked breaches. If your WIU email address is found in a breach, we will notify you so that you can take appropriate action - typically changing the password used on this third-party website and ensuring that you do not use the same password on any other websites.

If you receive a notice, it is important to understand that this breach did not happen at Western Illinois University. We are simply providing the information to our students and employees as a public service.

Recent Payroll Email Phishing Attacks

June 9, 2016

In the past week, several employees at the University of Illinois have received phishing email scams. Fortunately, quick action by the employees and their agencies have resulted in rapid mitigation of the threat, but it has resulted in increased threat to state systems and lost employee productivity time. View more information on this problem, and how you can protect yourself.

uTech SOAR 2016 presentation available on the web

June 3, 2016

Visit with University Technology (uTech) to find out what we can do for you. Get the inside track on student discounts, Apple and Dell products, cool accessories, computer requirements, and repair services. Discover how to smooth the way for the fall semester and find help when you need it.

Download a copy of the presentation (PDF format). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bev Baker at (309) 298-2704.

Security Notice Regarding Teamviewer

June 1, 2016 [Updated June 2, 2016]

TeamViewer is remote desktop connection software that allows users to share screens and allow remote access from anywhere in the world. In the past 24 hours, many TeamViewer customers have claimed their computers were maliciously accessed by hackers. Hackers are accessing the computers late at night, out of standard USA working hours, and accessing bank accounts using saved browser passwords, or installing forms of ransomware.

Although Western Illinois University and University Technology do not support the use of TeamViewer, we encourage users of the software to follow TeamViewer’s guidelines for security. This includes enabling two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of protection, using passwords unique to TeamViewer and using a password with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

View more details on this security alert.

June 2 Update:

TeamViewer has responded that there has been no security breach at TeamViewer and the reported issues are due to careless use of account credentials. TeamViewer strongly recommends:

  • Users should avoid all affiliate or adware bundles: While users may think they are just downloading a harmless program, the software could in fact install something else.
  • Users ought to download TeamViewer only through the official TeamViewer channels such as the TeamViewer website https://www.teamviewer.com
  • Users should protect any user account - whether it is with TeamViewer or any another supplier – by using unique and secure passwords that are frequently changed.
  • Users should ensure they have reliable anti-malware and security solutions in place at all times.

Sensitive Information Compliance with Google

April 1, 2016

In order to comply with WIU's Sensitive Data Handling Procedure, effective immediately, emails containing sensitive data (credit card numbers and Social Security numbers) will be blocked from sending via WIU Gmail accounts. Emails that contain sensitive data will not be blocked from being received, but will have their subject lines modified to indicate that sensitive data was found. These emails should be deleted as soon as they are no longer needed. Please contact the WIU uTech Support Center (309-298-2704 or supportcenter@wiu.edu) with any questions.

WIU is Going Google!

Gmail

February 18, 2016

We’re pleased to announce that Western Illinois University has chosen Google Apps for its new email and calendar platform.

University Technology has been working on the migration and is looking forward to moving students and employees from Zimbra to the new services in the coming months. We'll begin with a group of selected "early adopters" and then continue phasing in the services with additional groups.

For more details and to follow our progress, visit wiu.edu/googleapps.

 

New Ransomware Being Distributed via Microsoft Word Email Attachment

February 17, 2016

A new ransomware called Locky is currently being distributed via email that contains Word document attachments with malicious macros. The email message will contain a subject similar to ATTN: Invoice J-98223146 and a message such as "Please see the attached invoice (Microsoft Word Document) and remit payment according to the terms listed at the bottom of the invoice". Be wary of unsolicited attachments, even from people you know. If an email or email attachment seems suspicious, don't open it, even if your anti-virus software indicates that the message is clean. Read more about Ransomware and how to protect yourself.

FTC: Tax Fraud Behind 47% Spike in ID Theft

February 2, 2016

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has tracked a nearly 50 percent increase in identity theft complaints in 2015, and that by far the biggest contributor to that spike was tax refund fraud. This tax season, take some time to learn more about identity theft as it relates to tax fraud and what you can do to protect yourself.

Support Center Services Moving to the Union

January 15, 2016

Beginning Sunday, Jan. 17, the University Union Concourse location, currently occupied by the uTech Computer Store, will become uTech's primary walk-in support location. Most of the support services historically offered from uTech's Stipes Hall location will call the Union home. View more details.

Changes to Macomb-campus toll free calling

January 12, 2016

Starting now, the following telephone prefixes in the 309 area code can be called toll free from the WIU Macomb campus by dialing 7 + the seven digit telephone number:

  • Macomb - 209, 252, 255, 259, 295 298, 313, 318, 331, 333, 421, 544, 575, 588, 731, 833, 836, 837, 864
  • Adair - 653
  • Bardolph - 769
  • Blandinsville - 652
  • Bushnell - 237, 772
  • Colchester - 776
  • Good Hope - 456
  • Industry - 254
  • Swan Creek - 774

These new prefixes have been added to the Telecommunications dialing instructions, so employees may wish to print out a new copy of these instructions for future reference.

Warning about "Ransomware" Incidents

December 15, 2015

The state of Illinois has seen a recent rise in the number of Ransomware malware incidents in the past few weeks. Ransomware is a malicious computer program that can encrypt or otherwise block access to your files until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware infections result in significant costs due to required remediation efforts and a loss of user productivity. In some cases, the files infected can not be recovered. Read more about Ransomware and how to protect yourself.

University Technology Reorganization Information

September 10, 2015

Information on the planned reorganization of University Technology as presented by Steve Frazier, CIO, on September 10, 2015.

Changes to Public University Directory

September 10, 2015

The online public directory, accessible at http://directory.wiu.edu, has been updated to comply with changes requested in IT Governance proposal #50, approved by the IT Governance Council in December 2014.

This directory, which is available to the general public, has had some information removed in order to better protect WIU employees and students against misuse from spam and phishing attempts. Most notably, complete listings of students by curriculum and office locations for employees have been removed. The information removed from the public directory will continue to be be accessible via a password-protected directory at https://www.wiu.edu/directory that is only available to WIU students and employees.

Changes to WIU's Wireless Internet

August 19, 2015

This summer, University Technology made some modifications to the university's wireless network that will improve the way in which users connect to wifi. As such, the process for connecting to wifi has slightly changed. learn more and get connected today!

uTech Employee Recognition Awards

June 5, 2015

Most of the work performed by uTech Employees is done "behind the scenes" - where faculty, staff, and students do not generally see the people making our technology work. Our efforts impact everyone on the WIU campus, yet many remain unaware of the highly-skilled, complex issues our employees solve every day to keep WIU connected. We'd like to give a big "THANKS" for all our employees who work very hard, often under tight deadlines, and in sometimes less-than ideal conditions. [View uTech Employee Recognition Program & Award Winners]