Blog from December, 2017

IT always cautions users to never upgrade your operating system until you do the following:

  • Ensure you have a full backup of your system just in case you need to roll back

  • Ensure all your current versions of software and peripherals are compatible with the new operating system, see for compatibility tables

For Operations Mac users, IT blocked the upgrade to High Sierra due to incompatibilities with Office 2011, Office 2016 (v15.34 and below), Spirion (formerly known as Identity Finder) and Sophos. IT has now confirmed that Office 2016 v15.35 and higher, Spirion and Sophos are now compatible with macOS High Sierra. IT has now:

  • Allowed the installation of macOS High Sierra to be installed on all systems with Office 2016 version 15.35 and higher

  • Has blocked macOS High Sierra to be installed on systems with Office 2011

IT recommends that users of systems running compatible versions of these applications upgrade to High Sierra. If, following the upgrade, an application is not behaving as expected, users should reinstall the affected application and repeat the testing. While a reinstall of the your software should usually address the issue, problems may persist. If this does not resolve the problem, please open a help ticket via the link below.


This project was possible because IT identified affected systems with BigFix and Casper. To get BigFix for your computer, please visit

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MacKeeper is a well-known utility suite for macOS, which is typically installed by users looking to improve the performance of their system. MacKeeper is known to use aggressive marketing techniques, and has a very poor track record in terms of security, and in its ability to perform as advertised. Further, MacKeeper has been known to destabilize a Mac, undermining its stated purpose.

MacKeeper is increasingly seen as malware because of its pervasive pop up ads and can even be considered spyware. Sophos reported Mackeeper as 2017's most prolific potentially unwanted program on the Mac. Most alarmingly, Mackeeper has a very poor record on security. For example:

With the help of BigFix, we have identified users with MacKeeper on their systems. We will be reaching out to those Lab employees to let them know that we wish to remove MacKeeper from their systems for security reasons. Communication will occur prior to any action.

If you have any questions. please feel free to contact IT at [email protected] or click on the link below.


This project was possible because IT identified affected systems with BigFix. To get BigFix for your computer, please visit

Related news

The server was down for ~4 Hours on Saturday December 16th 2017 starting at 9:30AM while the Confluence software was upgraded.

The Confluence software was upgraded for security reasons along with new features added in version 6.x of the application such as:
  • Improved dashboard with collapsible sidebar
  • Search with new filters
  • Responsive tables
  • Batched notifications
  • Copy and delete page hierarchies 
  • Resolve permission roadblocks faster
  • Easier access to your work in progress
  • Unpublished changes reminder
  • Improved page history
  • See email notifications in one thread or conversation
  • Attachment indexing performance improvements

Do you want to:

  1. Increase your computer security, and reduce the effort needed to keep it that way?

  2. Inventory and report potential computer software and hardware issues?

  3. Help find and track your computer assets?

BigFix can help! In fact, Berkeley Lab IT has BigFix deployed on over 4000 Windows, Mac, and Linux systems across the Lab. We recommend that all employees install BigFix on all desktop and laptop systems at the Lab. To get started now, install BigFix from

The single most important thing you can do to protect your system is to keep the operating system and all applications up to date with the latest patches. Hackers target computers running obsolete operating systems and applications, which have well-known and easily-attacked vulnerabilities. For example, if you are running an older web browser, email program, image viewer, instant messaging, or even media player, your system is susceptible to infection with no action on your part other than viewing a malicious site. By installing BigFix, you can be sure that your system will always be running the latest version of the operating system and the most commonly compromised applications. For more information, see Patch Management Services.

BigFix is also used to detect and report on common issues with your system, including low disk space, vulnerable programs, and even failing hard drives. IT User Support can then proactively help you address these problems before disaster strikes! For example,

  • In October 2017, the popular system utility CCleaner was hacked, and malware was embedded into the newest updates. We were able to identify who had CCleaner installed, notify users of the vulnerability, and help them clean up their systems. For details, see CCleaner Hacked.

  • In October 2017 Microsoft released a Windows patch that could cause a computer to fail boot. IT User Support was able to identify these systems and worked with the users to ensure that reboots were done in a way that wouldn’t impact their work.

BigFix is also being used in the Lab’s current Wall-to-Wall inventory campaign! Any DOE-barcoded system running BigFix and on the LBL network can be automatically checked in to SunFlower, saving your property rep from having to manually scan the barcode. This pilot program is currently under development by the IT and CFO divisions.

For these and many other reasons, we encourage you to install BigFix on your computer systems. BigFix is available from

If you want further information regarding BigFix or need help installing BigFix, enter a help ticket by clicking on the Request Help link below.