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Most Recent Announcements

Windows XP End of Life (Posted April 2, 2014)

After 12 years, Microsoft is ending its support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.  Find out what you need to do if you still use Windows XP.

WebMail Being Shutdown on January 31st, 2014 (Posted January 16)

The WebMail website (accessible at is being permanently disabled January 31st, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Email accounts accessed by this website are not being disabled; IMAP access to these accounts will remain intact and functional. Users of the WebMail website will have to switch to a different method of accessing their email. View complete details and instructions.

Spring 2014 Semester Start Production Change Freeze Period (Posted January 9)

The University Technology (uTech) Change Management process is designed to control the implementation of all changes made to any uTech owned or managed device or application within the Western Illinois University production environment.

During critical time periods a change freeze is put in effect, which means that modifications to Information Technology systems are put on hold or postponed. This year’s Spring Semester Start Change Freeze Period:

  • Begins Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 12:01 AM
  • Ends Sunday, January 19th, 2013 at 11:59 PM

If a production failure is noted and requires an update to resolve the problem, contact the uTech Support Center at 309-298-2704, or

ResNet Internet connection increased from 310 – 620 Mbps (Posted November 20)

The uTech Network Team has been working on increasing the available bandwidth for the ResNet Internet connection. At this time the ResNet Internet connection has been increased from 310 Mbps (Mega bits per second) to 620 Mbps. We will continue our efforts to increase the available bandwidth for the ResNet Internet connection, however further improvements and obtaining our goal of a 1 Gbps (Giga bits per second), also known as 1024 Mbps, Internet connection for ResNet require the replacement of several pieces of network equipment. We have begun the process of requesting the new equipment and hope to have it installed in the near future.

CAMPUS ADVISORY: Warning Regarding Fraudulent Support Calls (Posted November 20)

Would you willingly let a scammer talk you into putting malware on your computer or pay for worthless help? According to a Microsoft survey last year, 22% of people contacted by these con artists fell for this scam. Alarmingly, Western's campus community has received a rash of these fake computer support calls lately. You may have even received this type of call at home.

Many of these scams involve callers pretending to represent Microsoft or one of its partners. The caller tells the person that their computer has a problem (such as a virus). Eventually the caller will request access to the person's computer to fix the problem and ask for a credit card to charge. This type of scam often results in fraudulent charges and/or identity theft. Do not engage with these folks in a conversation! Simply hang up.

The scammer may seem to know a lot about you (people are often surprised at how much information is available publicly about them). The phony technician may use this personal information to help make the scam seem more believable. Don't be duped into post-call financial losses, which Microsoft claimed to average $875 per victim! If you have questions about a technical-related call that you receive, please contact the uTech Support Center at (309)298-2704 or

You can read more about this scam at

Michael Rodriguez
Chief Technology Security Officer
Western Illinois University

The Dangers of Password Reuse (Posted November 13, 2013)

As you may be aware, Adobe announced, on October 3rd, that it had suffered a data breach. Of the estimated 150 million Adobe customers that were impacted, analysis that has been passed on to us indicates that over 2.3 million of these customers had a registered email address ending in .edu and approximately 1,700 had a registered email address ending in

Due to the large number of .edu email addresses on file with Adobe we are recommending that you change your password on all systems (such as your ECOM, STARS, bank, 3rd party email, etc.) where you may have used the same password as was used on Adobe. It is highly recommended that your institutional password (such as ECOM, STARS, etc.) not be reused in any other commercial account. It is also important that you use strong passwords and avoid common, easily guessed passwords (More on the Adobe breach at

Furthermore, be aware that we anticipate Phishing attempts masquerading as Adobe warnings and are therefore taking this opportunity to remind you of the importance of being aware of email scams.

How to avoid common email scams

A few simple rules would help you safeguard yourself from scams:

  • Rule 1: Suspect all email about your finances: credit cards, bank accounts, etc.

    Don't ever confirm financial information of any kind without first contacting your financial institution and determining that the request is genuine.

    If the email instructs you to update some information, the safest means to do so is by visiting the site manually, rather than clicking on the link given in the email. For example, if you receive an email asking to update your ECOM account details, simply open a new Web browser, type in and perform the requested activity.

  • Rule 2: Suspect all email asking about your computer accounts, email accounts, or other computer passwords.

    Don't ever reveal passwords or other account information without first contacting the requester by phone to confirm the request.

  • Rule 3: Suspect all unsolicited attachments.

    Many email attachments being delivered on the Internet today are dangerous and could be virus-infected. Opening an unsafe attachment can allow programs or individuals to take over your computer and use it to carry out illegal activities. Before opening any attachments, make sure the email is from a trusted source. If you are unsure, contact the sender before opening the attachment.

    Don't ever open an attachment until you are sure of what it contains, either because you have been told to expect it by the person who sent it, or you have contacted the sender to verify that they sent the attachment.

  • Rule 4: Suspect email that has a highly urgent message about your account.

    If you get an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your account information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the support center at (309) 298-2704.

    WIU will always give you enough time to react.

  • Rule 5: Do not trust the 'From' address or URLs listed in the body of the email.

    From Address: Most of these email scams work by falsifying the sender's address. The email may appear to come from your bank, or from someone you know, but could be a scam. If you receive a message dealing with sensitive financial or account information, or containing an attachment, do not blindly trust the headers but act with caution.

    URLs/Web links in the message: Scams that attempt to collect personal information often ask you to click on links that appear to take you to pages with web addresses that look genuine. Don't ever give out personal information just because the web address looks legitimate - there are ways to disguise the real address of a website. It may appear as if you are clicking onto, but in fact you could be redirected.

  • Rule 6: Be wary.

    There's nothing about email or the web that makes it any more or less prone to fraud than any other medium. Just as you would think critically about what you read or see on TV, you should apply the same scrutiny to what lands in your inbox. If it seems suspect, or too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Rule 7: Report the scams you see.

    You can help us protect you better by reporting the scams you come across. Please forward the email with its full headers to Contact the support center if you need help forwarding email with full headers.


Michael Rodriguez
Chief Technology Security Officer
Western Illinois University

A Note on Apple OSX 10.9 (Posted October 22, 2013)

Apple announced today that the newest version of their operating system, OS X Mavericks (10.9), will be available through the App Store for free to any Apple computer that is compatible.

Awesome, right? Yes, but users should not download and upgrade without checking into some potential issues first. Software and hardware compatibility should be investigated before upgrading. Because this software was released today, uTech has not completed thorough compatibility testing. With a new OS comes a new Safari and Calendar. Users will want to know that the OS and the new programs work with Zimbra, WesternOnline, SPSS, SAS, Parallels, antivirus and many other specialty or discipline specific tools you may be using.

In addition, any significant operating system upgrade includes the risk of a failure and data loss if an appropriate backup has not been created.

Not all Apple computers will be able to be upgraded to OS X Mavericks. WIU faculty and staff wishing to upgrade their WIU computer should contact their division/college technical support or uTech to request an evaluation and upgrade to be sure all your software and hardware is compatible.

Open Forums on the IT Strategic Plan and IT Governance (Posted August 26, 2013)

You are invited to discuss, provide feedback and ask questions regarding the draft 2013-2018 IT Strategic Plan and the new IT Governance Proposal. Open forums will be held on Thursday and Friday on the Macomb campus with video conferencing for those on the Quad Cities Riverfront campus.

The forums are scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, August 29, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. in the University Union Capitol Rooms
  • Thursday, August 29, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. in the University Union Capitol Rooms
  • Friday August 30, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the University Union Capitol Rooms

Note: Individuals at the Riverfront campus and 60th Street may participate in these open forums via video conferencing as follows.

  • Thursday August 29, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. in Riverfront Room A 120
  • Thursday, August 29, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. in QC 60th Street Room 113
  • Friday August 30, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in QC Riverfront Room A 120

Stephen Frazier, CIO, will briefly present the draft IT Strategic Plan and the IT Governance Proposal. Others who have had a hand in shaping these documents will also be available. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.

Copies of the draft IT Strategic Plan and the IT Governance Proposal are available on University Technology's website.

Feedback Requested on IT Strategic Plan Draft and IT Governance Proposal (Posted July 17, 2013 - Updated August 23, 2013)

Comments are requested regarding the IT Strategic Plan draft and the IT Governance proposal through September 5, 2013. This cutoff date allows time for final editing and approval before the documents are submitted for inclusion with materials that go to the Board of Trustees prior to their October 11 meeting.

A series of open forums is being planned for this fall for presentation of the plan as well as the new IT Governance proposal. A schedule will be forthcoming.

For a brief overview of the IT Strategic Plan and IT Governance Proposal, download this PDF.

Zimbra Infrastructure Upgrades Scheduled for Summer (Posted June 13, 2013)

University Technology is upgrading the Zimbra Server Infrastructure this summer. Part of the upgrade involves moving mail accounts to new mailbox servers. Migrations have little to no impact and happen transparently in the background; you may not even notice the migration has occurred. There are only a few instances where you might notice:

  1. If you have Zimbra open in your browser when the migration occurs you may see a popup window indicating the Zimbra version has changed. You can click through that popup and continue using Zimbra.
  2. If you have an extremely large mailbox, bigger than 4 or 5 GB, your browser may timeout as Zimbra switches you over to the new mailbox. Refreshing the browser within 10-15 seconds should solve that.
  3. In rare instances a mobile device (phone, tablet, iPod, etc...) may not "follow" your mailbox when it moves to the new hardware. The devices will stop receiving updates from the Zimbra mail server and it will look like you aren't receiving mail. In most cases the problem will eventually resolve itself if you wait a few hours. If you notice your device has not received any updated messages from Zimbra in several hours your device may be stuck. The quick fix is to delete and recreate the Zimbra mail account on your device. You can contact the Support Center (see below) if you need assistance

Why are we doing this? Mail usage continues to increase year over year and the old Zimbra hardware is well past its ability to meet peak performance demands. Here are some of the important changes:

  • We are more than tripling the number of mailbox servers available. This reduces the total number of users each individual mailbox server has to support and will deliver a faster and more robust service to each user.
  • Our new Zimbra environment will allow us to grow dynamically, so as usage increases we can quickly deploy new mailbox servers to meet increasing demands.
  • Available storage is also increasing and should give us the ability to support larger mailbox quotas.
  • We are preparing for the upgrade to Zimbra version 8 later this year.
  • We are investigating possible new features in Zimbra including VOIP Phone System integration, Dropbox integration, support for much larger attachment sizes, and more.

If you have any questions you may contact the uTech Support Center at 309-298-2704 or

Java Vulnerability Information (Posted January 28, 2013)

Information on the January 2013 Java vulnerability and how you can protect yourself.

Ongoing Announcements

Reclaim Your Zimbra Storage Space

Running out of space in Zimbra? If your account space becomes full, you will no longer receive emails.  Email messages with big attachments such as PDFs, photos, PowerPoint presentations, and video files can use up large amounts of your storage space. Purging unnecessary emails with large attachments is a quick and easy way to reclaim your Zimbra space.  Learn how you can reclaim your Zimbra space!

uTech Maintenance Window - 9 p.m. Fridays - 6 a.m. Saturdays

Keeping WIU's technology running smoothly requires regular maintenance, just like your car, etc. Scheduling infrastructure maintenance, the equivalent of an oil change every 3000-5000 miles, helps not only keep our technology engine running, but also lets you, the user, know when systems may be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance.

The uTech Maintenance Window is every Friday night from 9pm through 6am Saturday morning. This time period was selected as our system use statistics tell us that this is the least used time slot throughout the 168-hour week, and thus would potentially affect the least number of users.

This has been designated for standard security patching and routine reboots of campus servers. Some of the services that may be affected during this time period is access to the S drive, MSSQL access, the Blackberry server, Zimbra, and network printing.

In most cases the maintenance will not take the entire 9 hours, and not all systems will be affected at once. But we just want to make the campus community aware that maintenance during this window will help prevent technology infrastructure problems from occurring.

Mainframe Maintenance Window - Sundays 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This timeframe is reserved to perform general maintenance activity on the university's mainframe data and operations systems.

WesternOnline Maintenance Window - 2nd Sunday of Each Month, Midnight - 6 a.m.

WesternOnline maintenance is regularly scheduled for the 2nd Sunday of each month, between midnight and 6:00 a.m. WesternOnline will be unavailable during this time.

 Microsoft/Apple OS Patches

Typically, Microsoft/Apple OS updates will be delivered to the campus community on the 3rd Friday of each month. Such patches are critical to maintaining system performance on Windows/OS X-based computers, as well as related network performance. After these generally monthly updates, systems may require one or more reboots to complete the update process.

Macs running Microsoft Windows using Bootcamp or within a virtual environment will need to start their Microsoft Windows environment and be connected to the WIU network to receive these updates.

Only computers that are members of WIU's Active Directory or Macs linked to the WIU Apple Update Servers will receive updates from our servers. Computers that are not members of WIU's Active Directory or Macs that are not linked to the WIU Apple Software Update Servers will need to be configured to automatically receive their updates directly from the Microsoft/Apple websites.

View a schedule of upcoming Microsoft/Apple OS patch release dates.

Sensitive Data Scanning

A new schedule has been developed for scanning of sensitive data on all University-owned computers.