New Email Security Feature

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) will be applied to the University’s email system from Tue 15 Aug. This best practice measure is part of an ongoing effort to help everyone stay safe and secure.

What does SPF do?
It passes your received email through an automatic ‘check’ to:

  • Verify that it comes from the University’s email system
  • Confirm that the displayed sender address matches the one found in the email header (i.e. it is not from a ‘spoofed’ account)

SPF inserts a warning message into any email that fails either/both of these checks to let you know it carries the tell-tale signs of an illegitimate message. From then on, it is up to you to make some informed decisions.


Will I notice anything different?
Potentially, yes. If any of the emails you receive fail the SPF check, they will be tagged with text (outlined below) in the subject line and the email body itself as a header to highlight this to you:

  • Subject line: ‘UNVERIFIED SENDER’
  • Email body: ‘The University e-mail system cannot verify the authenticity of this message; treat it with caution’

Does that mean it’s definitely spam?
No. The check itself is not 100% fool proof and on occasion, it may fail legitimate emails. If there are grounds for you to think this is the case, for example you were expecting an email from that person or on that subject, personally check with the sender to confirm their email is genuine before engaging with anything in it.

What is it for then?
SPF is here to enhance your ability to identify malicious emails, not to replace your important and continued role in the process of doing so. Please always consider each email you receive with care and exercise the sound thinking we’ve shared with you on many occasions before interacting with any links, attachments or calls to action they contain, as we know you already endeavour to do.

What should I do if I receive an email with the warning message?

  • Follow the advice given above and be cautious with it until you are confident it is legitimate. If you cannot confirm this yourself, please contact IT via Help4U so we can investigate on your behalf.
  • Follow the instructions below in the event the email is suspicious and we will apply appropriate technical measures to prevent that sender entering anything into your email system again.

How do I report a suspicious email?
Send (do not forward) it to us as an attachment using the instructions on this webpage.

Why are we doing this?
Every day brings with it more headlines about accounts being hacked, ransomware attacks making their way around the world and systems being compromised. The University takes security seriously and SPF is a small factor we can introduce that will help you contribute to keeping your place of work or study as cyber safe as it can be.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact us via Help4U (ref C1707-023).

Bristol Online Survey (BOS) Downtime

Ownership of the Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) tool is scheduled to transfer from the University of Bristol to Jisc on Wed 04 Oct 2017, during which there will be a period of downtime. Current expectation is that the downtime will last no longer than 24 hours.

Unfortunately, the above transfer date is outwith the control of the University of Dundee, however, support will continue to be provided as normal by the LLC & CI Survey Service during the transitional time. Following the transfer, there should be no noticeable difference to your use of the BOS survey tool.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Library via LLC-Surveys@dundee.ac.uk.

Issue Accessing Box Notes

There is currently a known issue with the Box Notes service impairing the access of notes either via link or through the Box Web App.

We have been in contact with Box Customer Support and they have verified this as well as ensuring us that their engineers are currently fixing the issue as soon as possible.

More information and updates can be found here  and we will update this blog as soon as we are informed that the issue has been resolved.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Uod-IT

Issue uploading submission reporting – Routine Maintenance

We have been advised that a small number of students are having an issue submitting online. This is due to routine maintenance from our supplier.

Planned Turnitin Maintenance: Saturday August 5, 2017
7am – 1pm PDT / 3pm – 9pm GMT / 2am – 8am (Sunday 6) AEDT. (click here for your local time)

Turnitin services will be undergoing essential maintenance and will be unavailable.

All Turnitin customers on the following services will be affected including:

  • Turnitin (including mobile)
  • TurnitinUK
  • Integrations

Where applicable, please be aware no submissions or grading will be possible through any of the services listed above during this time. We therefore advise that submission deadlines be set outside of this maintenance window.

Please follow @TurnitinStatus on Twitter for the latest updates.

More information can be found real-time at the Turnitin website.

Login Issues with SITS –

There is currently an issue with the SITS database  – users are experiencing difficulty with logging in. The issue is being investigated by our team. We will update you as soon as possible. If you experience  this issue  – please log a call with Help4u  and quote Major Call reference 1707-2569 . Apologies for any inconvenience.

Limited Wired Network Connection in OTI Building

UPDATE 5.00 pm: Our Engineers have undertaken some remedial work to resolve this issue. If you are still experiencing issues connecting to the network in the OTI Building please try a reboot of your machine in the first instance. If however, this does not resolve the issue – please report this to the IT Service Desk in the Main Library.

We are aware of an issue connecting to the wired network in the OTI Building (wireless connection is not affected). If you are affected by this issue over the weekend, please use the facilities in the Library until a resolution is found and make the staff at the IT Service Desk in the Library aware.

UPDATE: This issue is now resolved.

Ransomware – Be Vigilant Please

You will see widespread news reports regarding ransomware affecting organisations across the world.

We have tested and deployed access protection proactive measures, which will protect all staff and student desktops as advised by our vendor, however, please:

Educate yourself
An email cannot corrupt your device on its own, you have to interact with it. Think:

  • When you receive an email to your University account, consider if you were expecting correspondence on that topic, from that recipient. If you weren’t, and the message is calling for you to act either by sending information, clicking on an active link, or downloading an attachment, first ask the IT Service Desk to confirm its legitimacy.
  • Never tick/check enable macros on attachments, unless you explicitly need to and trust the sender.
  • Don’t run a program if you don’t know where it has come from and haven’t chosen to install it yourself.

Further advice can be found on the Information Security website section.

Getting help
UoD IT staff are available 09:00-22:00 Mon-Fri and 10:00-22:00 Sat-Sun. Please log a call for assistance via Help4U if you have any concerns.

My Dundee Upgrade | July 2017

The University’s learning platform, My Dundee, will be unavailable from Mon 17- Fri 21 July due to upgrade.

Please ensure you download any teaching/study resources you may need over this period before the start date of the change.

Why are we upgrading?
Primarily to maintain compliance with our support agreement. The CTIL team continue to evaluate new features to determine which may be enabled/promoted and updates on this can be reached here.

If you have specific module delivery concerns or questions, please contact Help4U quoting change reference C1704-054.

📅 Download the event and add to your email calendar

Microsoft Office Slowness

Update: Wed 26 July, Time 11:45

The dedicated problem team have identified where this issue is coming from. We are currently working with Microsoft to try and fix the root cause. In the meantime, the problem team have created a ‘workaround’ which will help return you to normal operation. Should you continue to be affected by this issue, please contact help4u@dundee.ac.uk to have the workaround applied.

Update: Wed 28 June, Time 11:50

We have an IT group that meets on a daily basis to consider ongoing lines of enquiry and there are a number of activities currently being undertaken to help either identify the root cause or to eliminate various lines of enquiry.  This group is now chaired by Julie Christie (Assistant Director) and this matter continues to be a top priority for us.  
 
There are two main sets of activities we are carrying out:
1.        Gathering more data: all calls logged in connection with this major incident are being reviewed again to reconfirm the symptoms users are reporting and to collect additional details about the computer in question, the applications being used and the behaviour of these applications.  
 
For users this may involve the Service Desk getting in touch to confirm some facts and it would be helpful to have your cooperation with this.
 
2.        Testing different computers: the team have deployed three types of computers (built in different ways) to six groups from across the University to check what works and what needs further investigation. We should know within 1-2 days whether any of these approaches work or will eliminate other possible causes. 
 
We have found that some users are understandably reticent to ‘volunteer’ to help with testing but it’s for an important reason. If you are willing and able to help with testing please get in touch.  
 
If you would like more detailed information about what we are testing and which data we are collecting or more information about the things we have eliminated or resolved through this enquiry please contact the Service Desk.
 
Thank you for your ongoing patience.

Update: Fri 02 Jun, Time 16:30

Now examinations have passed, the IT team are able to start pro-actively addressing this issue so that staff can return to a quality PC performance.

Way forward
Testing has identified a small collection of factors that may be contributing to the overall problem. Achieving the permanent fix will, therefore, involve applying a number of progressive changes – both in isolation and in multiple combinations until stable service is reinstated.

How can I help?

  • If you are an affected staff member, your cooperation is key. Each time a change is applied we need to communicate with you to determine its outcome.
  • As an aside, the team are focusing efforts on desktops. Evidence suggests laptops are not affected by this issue, but if you believe yours is, please do contact the IT Service Desk if you haven’t already done so quoting call # 1704-3524

Any changes that will result in a known impact will be communicated with you prior to application.

We understand this may be frustrating and would like to assure you your engagement with this process is not only very much appreciated, but also instrumental in restoring service to you and the wider staff community.

 

Performance Issues with Microsoft Applications & Saving to Shared Drives