Sunday, October 15, 2017

Education institutions at risk for cyberattack

Just a short reminder to ask and beg:  Please do be very careful of emails and clicking on links in them.  Phishing attacks are a very real threat to the security of the college.  

If interested in some details, please see below for a very interesting recent article and national radio news story on one threat that targeted schools in Montana, including one community college there.

(Marketplace Weekend radio article Oct 13)

My snips:
  • An entire school district in Flathead Valley, Montana, shut down .... More than 30 schools and a community college closed for three days, affecting over 17,500 students.
  • But they're not alone. Schools in Texas, Iowa and Alabama also say they have been hacked.
  • Why target a school?
    • "They just sit on a wealth of information," said Michael Kaiser, executive director at National Cyber Security Alliance. "If you think of what a school has about the students, the parents, the teachers. It's an incredible amount of data which is incredibly valuable to cyber criminals."
  • Often hackers send out wide phishing scams. All it may take is for someone to click on a link.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Critical Patch to Adobe Flash

Due to another security vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player this week, CWC IT recommends all computers (including home computers) are updated to run  Adobe Flash Player version (or later) as soon as possible. This vulnerability is actively being exploited and categorized as critical.
CWC IT will take care of all computers managed by CWC IT.

How to get the patch
  • Managed Workstations & other computers managed by IT will be automatically upgraded and patched.
  • Home Computers:  I recommend you update your version of Adobe Flash Player as soon as possible.  
    • Visit to update your Flash Player and click on link at bottom right of their home page (See Click Here in the image below).

    • How long will the upgrade take?
      • The updates should take less than a minute but may take up to five minutes to complete.
      • Computer hardware and network connection speeds will impact the time needed to complete the upgrade.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

CWC and Windows 10

MicroSoft is scheduled to release their latest upgrade to Windows 7.x and 8.x on July 29, 2015.  It will be called Windows 10 and is a free upgrade. MicroSoft is currently updating your computer with a "reservation option" as noted below.

At the college, we will not be going to Windows 10 for some time - we will want to thoroughly test it in many environments and with many applications and also want to wait and let others find all the inevitable bugs.  It is likely that we will migrate to Windows 10 sometime next year - and will announce to everyone our plans well in advance.

At home, you will decide if and when you want to do the upgrade.  It all starts with a current version Windows update that puts this icon on your computer desktop:

Here are good resources regarding Windows 10:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Service Outage June 3 12:01 - 7:00 am

The following CWC eServices will be UNAVAILABLE:
  • 12:01 am - 6:00 am Wednesday June 3, 2015:
    • Off-Campus - Pretty much all e-services will be down, including  
      • myCENTRAL portal 
      • public website,
      • MyClasses,  
      • myAdvisor and 
      • email and other Google Apps (GAFEs). 
      • During this upgrade, we will redirect visitors to the public website to a maintenance page, explaining that the website is under maintenance.  RDP access for staff will be available.
    • On-Campus - CWC eServcies as listed above will be unavailable, but general internet access will remain active.  
  • Additionally, from 6:30 - 7:00 am:
    • On-Campus - Pretty much all e-services will be down, including general internet access.
    • Off-Campus - Most e-services will become available ( website, myCENTRAL,portal  email and other GAFEs, myClasses, etc) except:
      • myAdvisor will remain unavailable
      • RDP access for staff will not be available.

Details on this outage if interested:
  • The first outage allows CWC's website and portal vendor to do a significant upgrade of our eServcies WCMS from 7.1 to 7.3.
  • The second outage is because we have had a hardware failure within our core switch which will require CWC IT networking personnel to replace one of the redundant elements of the switch.  We will do so during this maintenance window.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Additional Service Outage this Weekend (9/27 and 9/28)

From Paul Branham - Administrative Computing Services:

This coming Saturday, September 27 6pm through Sunday, September 28, 6am is our regularly scheduled maintenance window. The following services will be unavailable for the times specified:
  • myAdvisor/Colleague/WebUI/CROA - 6pm-9pm, Sept. 27.
  • myCentral/Public Website - 1am-3am, Sept 28.
Additionally, these other services may experience small outages, that generally last less than 15 minutes:
  • AdAstra
  • ImageNow
  • Active Admissions
Let email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Paul Branham
IT Support and Development Technician - Administrative Computing
Central Wyoming College

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Service Outage Thursday night 9/25/2104

Acting-CIO Craig Kucera announces:

An important and significant upgrade to CWC's network storage infrastructure is planned for Thursday, September 25 beginning at 5:00 pm and lasting until 7:00 am the following morning.

The following services will unavailable during the upgrade:
  • Colleague/WebUI/WebAdvisor
  • Blackboard Transact
  • All Staff and Student LOCAL MyDocs folders
  • PRINTSERV1 (for campus printing services)
  • REMOTE3 (remote access)

MyCentral, Moodle and Google services will be not be affected nor will the ATM and purchasing functions for the Bb Pay Rusty Card.

Please contact me ( with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday MORNING (9/16/2014) Emergency Maintenance on myCENTRAL

Early Tuesday MORNING, September 16myCENTRAL will be unavailable for 2 hours starting at 1:00 am MT.  Service should be restored by 3:00 am MT. During this period, users will be unable to access these services:
  • myClasses
  • The CWC Public Website (
  • Google Apps including, Drive and Gmail. (If you have already configured both for mobile access, that mobile access WILL remain).
We are working closely with our vendor to improve performance issues and hope that this upgrade will resolve the problems we have been experiencing. We apologize for the inconvenience this outage may cause you.

During the outage, an alternative page will be shown to our users that will allow them to access non-affected services such as myAdvisor, and an explanation as to the cause of the outage for visitors to our website.