September 25, 2003
VirusScan Updates, or why am I having problems with my computer?

For Windows 2000 and Windows XP users:

If have a Windows 2000 or Windows XP machine and you are running VirusScan 4.5.1, you may find that although VirusScan is up-to-date, you’ve installed all the latest patches, and you’ve downloaded and run Stinger, you are still having problems with one or more of the following:

  • booting your computer (for example, very slow booting),
  • maintaining time on the clock in the right-hand corner of your screen,
  • slower-than-usual network connections.

You may want to replace VirusScan 4.5.1 with the enterprise version of VirusScan (VirusScan Enterprise 7.0.0).

VirusScan Enterprise 7.0.0 is included on the latest Scout CD which all field offices received in the July 13, 2003 transmittal packet (campus users can access the latest version via Scout and the network).

Instructions for installing VirusScan Enterprise 7.0.0 can be found under For Staff--Technology Items--Anti-Virus Information

Links for this post:

The latest patches: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/mt/technews/archives/000578.html
Download Stinger: http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/
Instructions for installing VirusScan 7.0:
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Comp/virus/installing_virusscan.htm
For Staff Pages: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ForStaff/homepage.html
Technology Items: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Comp/
Anti-Virus Informationhttp://www.extension.iastate.edu/Comp/virus/

Important Note: If you are running a version of VirusScan on Windows 2000 or Windows XP that is older than 4.5.1, you should update to VirusScan Enterprise 7.0 immediately.

Posted by dcoates at 08:23 AM
September 11, 2003
Security Alert -- Windows RPC vulnerability (redux)

A serious security alert has been issued by Microsoft in response to the discovery of a new vulnerability in the Windows remote procedure call (RPC) service.

It is imperative to patch your machine now to protect the security and integrity of your computer and the Extension network. This vulerability is very similar to the one exploited by the "Blaster" and "Nachi" worms beginning about one month ago. While there is not yet any worm exploiting this issue, it is only a matter of time.

To download and install a security patch for your system, you will need to do the following:

1. Log in as Administrator. At the login prompt, type ‘Administrator’ rather than your regular log-in and use the administrator password rather than your regular password. When you log in, be sure to change ‘Log onto:’ from IASTATE to the computer name (which will be identified on a drop down list by ‘(this computer)’).

2. Download the Windows 2000 patch or the Windows XP patch. (if you don’t know which operating system you’re using, right-click on My Computer and select Properties). The patch will take about 10 to 15 minutes to download.

3. Double-click on the patch and follow the instructions it provides.

4. Reboot your computer and log back in with your own username and password (be sure to change ‘Log onto’ from ‘(this computer)’ to IASTATE.

If you know other people in your office with Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines, please make them aware of this patch and the need to update their computers.

If you have questions or problems applying the update, contact the Computer Support hotline at 515/294-1725.

Additional information from Microsoft regarding this vulnerability can be found at:

End-user MS03-039 - KB824146 security bulletin
Technical MS03-039 - KB824146 security bulletin

Links in this post:

Blaster information: http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_100547.htm
Nachi informatoin: http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_100559.htm

Windows 2000 Patch: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/mt/technews/extras/Windows2000-KB824146-x86-ENU.exe
Windows XP Patch: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/mt/technews/extras/WindowsXP-KB824146-x86-ENU.exe

End-user MS03-039 - KB824146 security bulletin:
http://www.microsoft.com/security/security_bulletins/ms03-039.asp
Technical MS03-039 - KB824146 security bulletin:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/?url=/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-039.asp

Posted by dddugan at 08:12 AM
September 02, 2003
Reminder: Windows 98 Support Ends

As of September 1, 2003, Extension Information Technology no longer supports Windows 98. In practical terms, this means:

  • If you don’t need support on your Windows 98 machine and it’s running fine, you can keep on using it for as long as it does what you need it to do.

  • We will support upgrading Windows 98 machines (which meet the upgrade standards) to Windows 2000. This includes providing instructions, helping you decide if your computer can be upgraded, answering questions on the hotline, and upgrading your computer in our office (note: there is a $100.00 charge per computer for this service and you will need to make an appointment).

  • If you call the hotline with a question about a Windows 98 machine, we will answer it if it’s a question we have an immediate answer to.

  • If we can not provide an immediate answer, we will remind you that we no longer support Windows 98. At this point, you can do further research on your own, upgrade your computer, plan to move to a newer computer, or live with the condition as it exists.

  • Most machines running Windows 98 are at least 5 years old. This means they are less reliable and more susceptible to hardware failures. You should be even more careful to maintain regular backups for these machines.

There are a number of reasons we dropped support on Windows 98:

  • Microsoft no longer supports Windows 98. This means no security updates and no critical updates, no technical support, and no ‘higher power’ for solving problems.

  • New versions of software, including VirusScan and Scout are not being written for the Windows 98 operating system.

  • Computers that can only run Windows 98 (can’t be upgraded to Windows 2000 or Windows XP) do not meet current ISU support standards, can’t run essential software and are at least 5 years old, meaning their reliability is limited.

  • Expertise is limited. We use students for first level support. While their technical expertise is extensive, many of them have never used Windows 98. The fewer Windows 98 machines we support, the more limited our day-to-day experience and ability to solve problems.

Posted by dcoates at 02:59 PM