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Issue #96 August 2010

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Desktop Services


Mail discarded - Thursday 26-Aug-2010

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ITS IDENTITY & MESSAGING SERVICE TEAM

Please note that the IMS Team indicated yesterday, Thursday 26th August 2010 - a couple of the email SMTP servers had issues with virus definitions not being updated. This resulted in the servers treating all incoming emails as infected and discarded it.

The effected servers have had their virus definitions updated now at are operating at full capacity now. It is confirmed that there was some delay with email delivery yesterday afternoon.

Please note that as indicated before, some emails were inadvertently discarded.
Emails sent yesterday between 11:46 and 15:28 had a 1/3 chance of being discarded.
Emails sent yesterday between 15:28 and 16:38 had a 2/3 chance of being discarded.

If you sent emails or expected to receive emails between 11:46 and 16:38 yesterday and it has not come through, you or the original sender will need to resend it.

ITS apologises for any inconvenience caused.


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Microsoft Windows XP Security Updates

There has been a large number of Microsoft updates that have been released recently. ITS Security Team have been watching reports that have been generated from the Windows Software Update Service and they have shown that while there has been a significant number of patches sent to computers on the Monash network, there still are a large number of machines that require both Windows XP Service Pack 3 and MS10-046.

ITS Security Team has requested all staff to pay attention to the MS Windows update icon in the task bar and apply the patches when alerted by the shield. The patch when installed will require a reboot of the computer. You MUST reboot the computer, otherwise your computer will not be protected.

This is also a reminder that Microsoft did END OF LIFE a few of its offerings recently. In particular, there are now no more updates provided for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (which is ITS Security Team are pushing Service Pack 3 for a while now), and there also are no more updates for Windows 2000 (both server + workstation/professional versions). This support was retired on the 13 of July 2010. This is very important, especially when there are critical vulnerabilities that may affect these environments (such as the issue highlighted above with MS10-046). A full summary of product lifecycle for all Microsoft products can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselect

If you need any further support in updating your Windows based computer with Service Pack 3, please do not hesitate to log a request via jobdesk - http://jobdesk.monash.edu.au/ or contact your local IT Support Team.


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Cut Over of VoIP Phone System at Clayton

The final phase of the VoIP telephone migration will occur on the Clayton Campus on Saturday 28th August. On this weekend, minor rolling outages will occur as the external Telstra connections are transferred from the existing PABX network to the new VoIP telephony network.

From Monday 30th August, staff at Clayton will be able to use their VoIP handsets as their primary handset and can remove their old phone for recycling during September/October 2010. Further information will be sent during October regarding the recycling.

This upgrade is part of the major project to replace the old end of life PABX based system across all campuses with a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. All other campuses have been successfully completed and just over 12000 VoIP Phone handsets have been deployed.

This new VoIP service provides a more modern and flexible mode of telecommunications removing the risk of the increasingly difficult to maintain PABX network.

Telephone Delegates across all areas are available to assist you and will be the main point of contact during the migration to the new VoIP Phone system. The rollout has been very successful so far thanks to support and assistance from Telephone Delegates and staff across Clayton campus.

For more information:

Learning guides can be downloaded at: http://its.monash.edu.au/staff/phones/support/manuals.html

To find out who your local Telephone delegate is, please check: http://www.its.monash.edu.au/staff/phones/mids/delegates.html

For more information please go to the VoIP pages on the Monash ITS website http://www.its.monash.edu.au/staff/projects/voip/index.html

Further enquiries can be made to the ITS ServiceDesk on 51777 or contact your local IT Support Team.

Dr Ian E Tebbett
Chief Information Officer


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Secure Destruction of Software Media

ICT Vendor and Contract Management Office is currently providing the service to securely dispose any electronic media in the form of CDs, DVDs, Floppy Disks and Video Cartridge. There is a locked wheelie bin set up there for the secured disposal of such media. You can send such media to the following address:

Attn: Jane Lee (Secure Media Disposal)
ICT Vendor and Contract Management Office
Building 203
Clayton Campus
Monash University 3800

Please also note that it is possible to hand deliver acceptable media on Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays during Monash business hours. Kindly contact Jane Lee on 990 20653 before hand delivering your media to be disposed so that she can meet you at the front desk of her office.


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Google Email - Server has too many recipients

If you want to send emails to a large number of recipients, there are a few options available to staff from Monash:

  • Use the Monash Bulk Messaging System
  • Use the Google web interface

In order to reduce spam, Google has placed limits on the number of emails an individual account can send per day. The recipient limit within the Education Edition is such that users can send to 2000 external recipients per day. The email addresses can be distributed among the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields.

Here are a few additional tips on sending more emails than these:

  • Create multiple user accounts to send mail. For example, 'Admin1' and 'Admin2' can each send 500 messages to reach 1000 unique recipients. (On the Education Edition, two accounts can reach 4000 recipients.)
  • Stagger mass communications over the course of two days. For example, send messages to the allotted number of recipients on day one, wait for 24 hours, and send messages to another group of recipients on day two.
  • In all editions of Google Apps, an individual message can be sent to a maximum of 500 external recipients at one time.

Note: If however, you use a POP or IMAP account (Eg: Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail), you may only send a message to 100 people at a time. Your account will then get blocked and renabled after 24 hours.

 

 


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Authcate Password Expiry

Background: As a requirement of the Audit and Risk group, and the IT Security Steering Committee, the Authcate Password Expiry project aims to improve the security of Monash Authcate accounts. Access to the internet was modified so that a user’s Authcate password will expire every six months and staff and students will need to change their password before they can regain access. This was implemented for all staff in May.

Update: Students’ Authcate password expiry was enabled on 3 August and will be progressively enabled to over 55,000 students over 120 days. Students will receive regular reminders prior to their password expiry date.

Contact: Leon Troeth, Identity and Messaging Services

 


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Power Shutdown associated with the Medical East HV Substation Upgrade

 

The proposed power shutdown between 27/12/10 and the 31/12/10, which is required for and associated with the upgrade of the Medical East High Voltage Substation, the following items were discussed, clarified and agreed;

  • Buildings effected will be 13 A, 13 B, 13 C, 13 D, 13 E, 13 F, 13 W, 14, 15, 16 & 64.
  • No normal power will be available to the affected buildings.
  • Limited power could be provided to buildings with generator back up facility.
  • Buildings with limited generator back up are 13 A, 13 B, 13 C, 13 D, 13 E, 13 F & 16.
  • At the meeting we requested that the power usage on these back up facilities, be looked at and stopped or reduce as and where possible i.e. crystal growing, lab experimental works including animal research, animal holding facilities(relocate these to other locations during the shutdown) and the storage in cold/cool rooms, constant temp rooms, freezers and fridges.
  • We also requested that details be provided within approximately a week of those necessary items, equipment and areas that still will be effected and require power, but please take into account we need to stop or relocate as much as we can and where possible.
  • We, Maintenance and Minor Works can then formulate a strategy to maintain power to the above necessary items, equipment and areas, during this shutdown period using the existing generator infrastructure, further back up if required and condensing the shutdown works etc.
  • It was also confirmed and advised that the status of the animal facilities were or would by the shutdown as follows;

        Building 13 A, Level 2 animal holding facility relocated.
        Building 13 C, Ground Floor mouse house facility relocated.
        Building 13 D, Level 6 animal holding facilities not in use.
        Building 13 F,  Level 2 animal holding facilities to be stopped and/or reduced if possible.
        Building 13 F,  Basement animal holding facilities to be stopped and/or reduced if possible. 

Buildings 14, 15 and 64 we have discussed this shutdown with Peter Brimacombe, John Gibson and Pamela Peters who have all advised it should not effect their respective building.

We have also had discussions with Security both Trevor Smith and Ramze Rifaie regarding this shutdown, their advise is that we will need to put procedures in place by  locking down the effected buildings and on how access is given to staff etc that will require to attend animals and research etc. These procedure will be confirmed and advised later or at a further meeting. 

We again stress it is important to stopped or reduce power usage as and where possible. 

Please call if you need to discuss and/or have any queries. 

 

Regards, 
Alan Coventry
Supervising Electrical Officer
Facilities &Services Division
Monash University Clayton Campus
Contact No's 9905 4045 & 0419 350 824

 


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