Many SSCC servers were affected by the "Heartbleed" SSL vulnerability. This was a very serious vulnerability as it could give an attacker access to both the server's security certificate and account passwords. We have no reason to believe that anyone took advantage of Heartbleed to attack SSCC servers, nevertheless, staff moved quickly to patch the affected services and replace the potentially exposed certificates. The final step is to change all passwords that were potentially exposed. We urge all SSCC members to change their SSCC passwords as soon as possible. Members who have access to sensitive information on the SSCC network should consider this mandatory.
Other sites may not move as quickly. You should not change your password for a given site until you're confident it has been patched, or your new password may be compromised. This highlights why it is critical that you not reuse your SSCC password for any other site. We make security a very high priority at the SSCC because our researchers work with sensitive data. Other sites may not address security issues with the same urgency. If you reuse your SSCC password, your SSCC account is as vulnerable as the least secure site you use.
We recognize the challenge of remembering multiple strong passwords. Consider using password-management software like LastPass.
We're pleased to announce that Russell Dimond, SSCC statistical computing specialist, is a recipient of the 2014 L&S Academic Staff Mid-Career Achievement Award. This is a very competitive and prestigious award which recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding performance in their position, show substantial promise of future contributions, and demonstrates a high degree of professionalism. Congratulations, Russell!
The new Campus Software Library is a library of research software that members of the campus community can download and install on their individual computers at no cost to them. Statistical software available from the library includes JMP, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, SAS, and SPSS. Adobe Creative Cloud is also available.
SSCC supports the campus software library: it will save us a small but significant amount of money, and it will be a tremendous benefit to researchers who don't have access to resources like Winstat. However, the statistical software in the library is already available on Winstat and we feel strongly that Winstat is a better research platform than individual PCs for most SSCC members. Also, our PC Support group does not have the resources to assist large numbers of SSCC members with installing programs from the software library on their computers. See our new Support for the Campus Software Library policy for more information.
There's one last chance for training this semester. April 16 there will be an Introduction to Dedoose, online-based qualitative data analysis software. We're already making plans for summer training. Stata for Researchers, Stata Programming, and Publication-Quality Tables in Stata are already scheduled for June and July. Visit our training page to register.
Last summer we adopted the newly-upgraded campus VPN service—the new service is faster, more secure, and has better mobile compatibility than the SSCC's existing VPN service. The new VPN service also encrypts your traffic, which is especially beneficial when you are using a wireless connection. We plan to discontinue SSCC's legacy VPN service on June 2.
For those unfamiliar, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows a device to connect to the SSCC network as if it were in the building regardless of its location. This gives you access to network drives and printers. It also allows you to use services that are restricted outside of the university (like many library databases).
To get started using the new campus VPN you can follow the steps in our Knowledge Base (KB) article Connecting to the SSCC Network via VPN. If you've previously mapped drives using the old VPN service you may need to follow the KB article to remap them.
X-Win32 is the SSCC's suggested Linux client for Windows PCs. What people often times forget when they are using it off-campus is that you must first establish a VPN connection. Visit our Knowledge Base article for more information on X-Win32.