Summer school continues to grow this year, along with a myriad of summer camps and
other campus activities. In this issue we provide information about connecting to the network - enhancements to remote desktop access, using our upgraded lecture capture solution, and the retirement of an aging technology. We also offer guidelines to spot and avoid "like-farming". We invite you to attend one of our ShortCourses, or to utilize our computer based training (cbt.ttu.edu). Lastly, please invite family and friends to join the Lubbock ITAlert List. Enjoy the summer - Guns Up!
Associate Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer
Limit Your Likes and Savvy Your Shares
Facebook users may unknowingly be promoting malicious content due to a new trend amongst
internet scammers called "like-farming." The act of Facebook "liking" may now have
unintended consequences. Seemingly benign Facebook posts that appeal to one's emotions
can potentially be ploys for scammers to accumulate "likes" and "shares" from these
posts. Once a post has gained enough popularity, the scammers modify the content,
replacing the promotional content with malware, and infecting those that "like" and
"share" the page..
Common characteristics of "like-farming" attempts:
- Posts that promise to raffle off expensive gifts if it is "shared" and "liked;"
- Invitations that ask a user to "like" or "share" to show appreciation;
- Any solicitations that thrive on the good nature of people and play to their emotions;
- Confluence Wiki – a blogging and collaboration tool that aids peer review, team editing,
and document delivery;
- Sites that appear on your news feed identifying people that have also "liked;"
TTU IT recommends that you routinely review your activity log by clicking "Your Posts"
on the left-hand side of your Facebook newsfeed/timeline page, and select "Activity
Log" under "Filters" on the left-hand side of the screen. If any of the activities
in your log look suspicious, you can delete, "unlike," and report the incident to
Facebook. Spread "likeawareness" and understand that not every Facebook page is an
accurate representation of the true owner, and criminal motives are often well disguised.
As you participate in social
networking tools, we strongly recommend that you limit your "likes" and savvy
VPN is No Longer Needed for Microsoft Remote Desktop
Thanks to the RDP Gateway service provided by the TTU
IT Division, a VPN connection is no longer necessary to use
Microsoft Remote Desktop. When you’re away from campus, Microsoft Remote Desktop
provides access to your Windows
desktop computer as if you were sitting in front of it. For
instance, if you have your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone at a
hotel while traveling, you may use Microsoft Remote Desktop
to securely connect to the Windows PC in your office.
In the past, a VPN connection was required in order to use
Microsoft Remote Desktop. The TTU IT Division now provides
a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Gateway service to
facilitate remote desktop connections without VPN.
- When off campus, no VPN connection required to connect
to a TTU Windows computer;
- Secure connection to TTU Windows workstations and
servers from remote locations;
- Use your remote computer as though you were sitting at
your desk at work;
- Access to all internal services like file shares, printers, and
Internet Native Banner; and
- Apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android to
access your Windows computer remotely.
Setting up or modifying your Remote Desktop connection
to use RDP is a simple process, and should take no more
than 5 minutes to complete. To view Remote Desktop setup
instructions for specific platforms, please search askIT. For
any questions or additional information, please contact IT
Help Central at (806) 742-4357 (HELP) or ithelpcentral@ttu.
Remote SSH Connections
As the Internet gained popularity and functionality, several
communications methods became popular at universities as
the means to remotely connect to computers, with Telnet
being the first to reach widespread adoption. Telnet was
eventually supplanted by Secure Shell (SSH), because of
security and privacy concerns. For many years, TTU has
allowed remote SSH connections to TTUnet, the University’s
network. However, the Internet has become far more
dangerous over the years and cyber criminals (including
organized crime) now use SSH to attack TTU computers over
100,000 times a day.
- As a result of the constant attacks, Texas Tech University
is going to make a change in the way faculty and staff
remotely connect to TTU systems using SSH. Beginning Monday, July 11, 2016, remote
SSH access to TTU
computers will require an initial connection to an SSH
gateway – ssh.ttu.edu – and authentication with an
eRaider account. Once signed in, SSH access to TTUnet
computers will be possible.
- No action is necessary unless you currently use
SSH to remotely connect to TTU systems.
- SSH connections from TTU computers to external systems
will not be affected.
- Research and business partners that need SSH access
to TTU systems will need an eRaider account that is
sponsored by a faculty or staff member. These types of
accounts can be obtained at http://www.net.ttu.edu
under Network Accounts. If you need assistance, please
contact IT Help Central at (806) 742-4357 (HELP) or
- The new SSH gateway will stop organized crime and
other cyber criminals from using SSH attacks as weapons
against research and educational servers. We appreciate
your partnership in maintaining a safe computing
environment at Texas Tech University.
Instructions for SSH connections to the new SSH gateway,
ssh.ttu.edu, are located in http://askIT.ttu.edu/ssh. The
gateway is currently available for use in order to aid in a
smooth transition. We recommend that you begin using the
SSH gateway now in order to avoid future interruptions when
it becomes required. If you need assistance, please contact IT
Free Online Training Courses & Instructor-led Classes
Skillsoft Online Training (CBT) is an online, self-paced,
interactive training system. TTU hosts an inventory of
over 4,000 courses, covering basic to advanced technology
skills, customer service, project management, and general
management skills. CBT modules can be used as professional
development for a wide variety of skills. Please visit www.cbt.ttu.edu.
Every semester, including summer semesters, Technology
Support offers instructor-led ShortCourses. All Technology
Support ShortCourses are taught by professional IT staff
members and are held in the main ATLC facility, located in
the west basement of the University Library building. Class
sizes are limited, so we ask that you register in advance.
To view the current ShortCourse schedule and to register,
please visit www.itts.ttu.edu/training. If you have questions,
please email email@example.com or contact Technology
Support at (806) 742-1650.
Lecture Capturing Improvement/Enhancement
The TTU IT Division in collaboration with TTU Worldwide
eLearning, the TLPDC, and Sonic Foundry enhanced the
Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform on Friday, June 3rd.
As a result of the upgrade, a number of enhancements are
available to Faculty in both the Mediasite Enterprise Video
Platform and in the Blackboard Learning Management
System. The key enhancements are listed below:
- Increased cross functionality with Blackboard:
- Instructors can search for and add Mediasite content
from within Blackboard
- Mediasite content will play in the Blackboard frame,
instead of an additional pop-up window
- Improved accessibility features:
- Added text descriptions for every link (for increased
functionality of screen readers)
- Additional keyboard shortcuts to navigate the timeline
- Improved search functions;
- Use of serial number in addition to MAC address when
- Improved content processing speed; and
- Support playback for Flash media elements in Google
Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.
We appreciate your continued partnership as we strive to
provide a more robust and technologically advanced learning
environment. If you would like additional information
about Mediasite, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
please contact IT Help Central at (806) 742-4357 (HELP) or
Lubbock IT Alert
Please encourage your friends and family to join Lubbock
ITAlert. Similar to our TTU alert list maintained by the TTU
Office of the CIO, we have partnered with the Lubbock
Chamber of Commerce to provide a similar email-based
alert system for Lubbock and the surrounding community.
Alert mail is only sent for high priority IT security events.
Visit www.cybersecurity.ttu.edu and look for the Lubbock
ITAlert button to join using a non-TTU account.