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- - TCE News Page - -

8/26/06 - System Down for Upgrades
The TCE network will be shutdown for approximately 2 hours on 8/26/06 to perform several upgrades. The service interruption is scheduled for 12:30AM to 2:30AM. Some TCE services may be unavailable during this time.

8/07/06 - New E-Mail Server
We have implemented a new server which is being used to take over some of the workload our current mail server was being bogged down with. One task being switched over to this new server is the SquirrelMail Web Interface. In this process some of the additional mailboxes you may have previously created in SquirrelMail may not have transferred correctly. If you notice problems with the webmail system, please Email support@tcenet.net with details of the problem. The older version of SquirrelMail is still running at http://mail.tcenet.net/src/login.php if you need to access it. If you are not experiencing problems, you are strongly encouraged to log into webmail from the TCE homepage as the older system will be removed once we have verified everything is running smoothly with the new server.

3/30/06 - Savvis Emergency Maintenance
SAVVIS engineers will be performing emergency maintenance to ensure network reliability. This will take place tonight, 3/31 between Midnight and 4:00AM EST. You may experience service interruption during this window.

3/25/06 - Authentication Server Down
The authentication server went down at approximately 8:57PM and was restarted at 12:11AM This caused all login attempts to fail.

1/4/06 - Security Warning Notification - Critical
Earlier last week, a new Microsoft exploit was released related to a remote code execution flaw in the Graphics Rendering Engine. This vulnerability rapidly began being exploited throughout the Internet in the last few days. This is commonly referred to as the "WMF vulnerability, which takes advantage of a security vulnerability referenced in Microsoft Security Advisory 912840 Dec. 28, 2005. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/912840.mspx
There are several different variations to date, with the release of many more likely to occur.

Microsoft has not yet released a patch for this vulnerability, and their suggested workaround is not 100% effective in mitigating the issue. On Dec, 31, 2005, several new issues came to light that have resulted in this issue being raised to critical status.

1. Several other (possibly all) image file types are affected by this vulnerability. This is especially dangerous since many users typically assume .jpg, .gif, and other image files to be safe.

2. The variety of exploits already seen in the wild make normal filtering methods of filename, IDS content filters, and Anti-Virus very ineffective at detecting more than 70% of exploits.

3. Multiple infection vectors will enable rapid spread of infection or compromise. This includes Internet browsing, email, and Instant Messaging.

4. Virtually all current Windows Operating Systems are vulnerable, although most likely infection point is workstations and Terminal Servers where user interaction takes place. Customers with Citrix servers and Windows Terminal servers that permit users to run IE, Email, or Instant messaging software should be considered at extremely high risk and should discuss immediate implementation of workarounds or other mitigation prior to the release of a patch from Microsoft.

Recommended Actions:
1. If you must visit Internet sites for business requirements, use an alternate browser with less risk of an exploit. (Firefox is not immune to this, but should pop up a warning dialog box that can be cancelled when unauthorized code is trying to execute). Firefox is a multi-platform browser that can be obtained free of charge from http://www.mozilla.com . Some improperly coded applications may not function fully within this browser.

2. If you have a Linux or Unix based system available, use that for email, browsing, etc. Linux and Unix are currently not vulnerable to these exploits.

3. Do not surf non-business required sites until this issue has been resolved and/or systems patched. Simply browsing sites that contain exploit code can result in system compromise.

4. Disable Preview mode in your Outlook settings. (View, Reading Pane, Off) - Then delete any unexpected emails without opening or viewing in preview mode. Some of these exploits will execute without opening the attachment, just by clicking on the email in preview mode.

5. Do not use Instant messaging clients. Numerous exploits are being circulated via Instant Messenger systems. You may want to consider taking steps to temporarily disable Instant messaging clients until this issue is resolved.

6. Check to be sure your anti-virus is up to date. While not 100% effective, for these exploits, it can detect and mitigate several variants. Check that your Anti-Virus is running the latest DAT files.

7. Consider viewing email in Plain-text mode rather than HTML.

** Applying the Microsoft workaround will cause some loss of functionality, and is not completely effective in mitigation of this issue. If they are applied, they will need to be removed/reverted prior to applying the official Microsoft patch.
Update - 1/11/06 Microsoft has released a patch for this problem get it here.
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