Blog from September, 2019


The LBL Indico instance (https://conferences.lbl.gov) was upgraded from v1.2 to v2.22 which provides a new interface and features in addition to bug fixes after being inaccessible from 10AM-2PM on Friday, September 27, 2019.

You can now log into Indico with your Berkeley Lab Identity credentials using single sign-on (SSO). The first time you login, you may notice a message letting you know it is the first time you have used this form of authentication to login.

This and other changes are highlighted in the Commons page here: https://commons.lbl.gov/x/FgGoCg

Just a reminder that on June 1, 2019, Malwarebytes was no longer being offered by Berkeley Lab IT.  Existing clients will continue to function, but will not receive updates. IT recommends that users uninstall Malwarebytes. This can be done manually, or users can wait until they see a BigFix Offer from IT, which will remove the application automatically. For further information, refer to our Malwarebytes FAQ site.

Berkeley Lab computers are constantly under attack, but what should we, as users, do to protect ourselves and our systems? According to research conducted by Google, users and security experts often have different ideas as to what the best steps are to be taken.

To make it easier, Berkeley Lab IT has developed a series of IT Best Practices that all staff should follow when using Lab computers. These best practices address the most important security recommendations, data protection, and performance optimization.

IT Best Practices include:

  1. Install BigFix on ALL computers. BigFix is used to help keep your operating system and common applications up to date. There is even a Passive mode that you can use if don’t want any updates done automatically. 

  2. To make sure that updates are installed, it is also essential that you REBOOT your computer regularly! BigFix will also tell you when your system needs a reboot.

  3. Use LastPass, a password manager which IT provides for free. LastPass makes it easy to make sure you always use strong, unique passwords.

  4. Enroll in the Lab’s Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) system. With MFA enabled, an attacker who knows your Lab password still won’t be able to log in.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the IT FAQ and Cyber Security websites. These sites are updated regularly with important information for users.

  6. Install Sophos on all workstations. Sophos is provided for free by Berkeley Lab IT.

  7. Use Druva inSync to backup your workstation data, $51/yr for up to 10 computers

  8. Use VPN when on public networks (including LBL’s Visitor Wireless) or on travel. It is a good idea to use VPN whenever possible while offsite.

  9. Clean up your computer

  10. Use Google Drive / Google Shared Drive / Google File Stream to store important or shared files.

As most people know, keeping your software updated is the number one thing you can do for cyber security.  What is less well known is how important this is on mobile devices, such as iPhones and Android devices. A recent set of vulnerabilities announced in iPhone devices both makes it a priority to update now and serves as a reminder of the importance of updating regularly. 

You can read more about newly accounced vulnerablities at https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-very-deep-dive-into-ios-exploit.html

There is good news, update and reboot your iOS devices now to ensure they are secure.

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