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Frequently asked questions – Information Technology Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Earlier in November, computer servers at Binghamton University experienced malicious
activity that rendered some of its servers inaccessible. The University’s Information
Technology Services (ITS) staff immediately took the affected servers offline, took
proactive measures and notified law enforcement.

The following are answers to many of the common questions surrounding this situation. 

Updated at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14

  • How does this situation impact the campus systems?

    Campus systems that rely on University servers are not accessible, including H drives
    and U drives. The complete list of systems that are unavailable can be found on the
    ITS system status page.

  • How do I know if my computer is affected?

    If your computer is affected, a message will appear on your screen and you will be
    unable to use it.

  • Can I turn my computer on?

    Yes, you may turn your computer on, but you should not connect to the University’s
    network, whether on campus or at home, until you have installed Carbon Block or had
    ITS install it for you.

  • What should I do to avoid infecting my computer?

    Leave your computer off whenever possible or if you do not need it to work at this
    time. Ensure that you have installed the most recent operating system updates for
    your device and that you have updated antivirus software. 

    The University is installing a security tool called Carbon Black on University-owned
    computers that will help protect the computers. ITS will be going building by building
    on campus installing Carbon Black on computers in offices. Do not connect office computers to the campus network until you or ITS have installed Carbon
    Black and installed updates. 

    If your computer is at home, you will need to install Carbon Black before connecting
    to the campus network once VPN access is restored.

    Installers for Carbon Black are available online at Carbon Black Installers.  (Note: You must be logged in with your Binghamton Google Account to access these installers.) If you need assistance installing Carbon Black, contact the ITS Help Desk for assistance
    at [email protected].

  • I need Carbon Black installed to protect my computer. Can I install it myself?
    (Updated Nov. 12, 2020)

    Carbon Black is an IT security tool that protects the computer it is installed on
    while providing insight into the campus network to reduce the likelihood of future
    attacks. The tool protects the computer in the background without any user interaction.

    Individuals can install Carbon Black rather than waiting for ITS to reach out. Installers
    for Carbon Black are available online at Carbon Black Installers. (Note: You must be logged in with your Binghamton Google Account to access these installers.) If you need assistance installing Carbon Black, contact the ITS Help Desk for assistance
    at [email protected] or visit the Events Center between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays through Tuesday, Nov.
    17, where technicians will be available to install it for you. Make sure your computer
    is fully charged when you arrive. 

  • Will I see a confirmation that I have correctly installed Carbon Block?
    (New Nov. 10, 2020)

    Once you have completed the Carbon Black setup and click finish, you have successfully
    installed it. It is a silent completion and the software runs completely in the background
    on your device. You will not see an icon or any changes in your settings, but you
    are now able to connect to the University’s network.

  • Where should I back up a copy of my files?
    (New Nov. 14, 2020)

    If you are in need of a place to store files, use your Binghamton University Google Drive

    A better option is to have your Google Drive files available as a drive on your computer
    by downloading and installing Drive File Stream.

    To download Drive File Stream:

    On your computer, open:

    • DriveFileStream.exe on Windows
    • DriveFileStream.dmg on Mac

    Follow the on-screen instructions and when prompted to login, use your Binghamton
    University email and password.

  • Can I access the campus network from a remote location through the SSL VPN (Pulse
    Secure?
    (New Nov. 12, 2020)

    Access has been restored to the SSL VPN, but now requires two-factor authentication.
    To set up your computer to use the SSL VPN, follow the directions found online.

    Find complete information on the Pulse Secure VPN online.

  • What systems should I avoid?
    (Updated Nov. 13, 2020)

    Individuals should not log into any service on the BGM Domain until Carbon Black has
    been installed on their computer. Once they have installed Carbon Black, they can
    log onto the BGM Domain, though some systems remain unavailable. Systems that are
    hosted by vendors outside of the BGM Domain, including BMail, Zoom, MyCourses, MyBinghamton,
    Banner, Panopto, Qualtrics, Starfish and OmniUpdate remain available, 

  • What systems has access been restored to?
    (Updated Nov. 17, 2020)

    As of Thursday, Nov. 12, access has been restored to Listserv, Maximo, the Password
    server, Kronos, the Mitel phone system and the SSL VPN that allows remote access to
    the campus network, as well as the Binghamton University Business System (BUBS), Single
    Sign On (CAS), Slate, the SUNY Employee Services Portal, the University network, all
    Libraries systems and B There. Progress is being made on other systems and updates
    will be made daily.

  • How do I access BingView?
    (New Nov. 14, 2020)

    BingView is now available to students, faculty and staff. To access BingView, students
    and users off-campus are required to connect to the Pulse Secure VPN before connecting
    to BingView. 

    Below are instructions for connecting:

    Contact the Help Desk at [email protected] with questions.

  • Can I safely use the CAS to sign on?

    Yes. It is safe to sign on through the Central Authentication Service (CAS) using
    your PODS credentials.

  • Is it safe to use a personal laptop or USB to teach in a classroom?
    (Updated Nov. 11, 2020)

    Faculty should not use their University-owned computer on the campus network until
    after they have installed Carbon Black and any critical operating system and antivirus
    updates. It is safe to use a personal laptop that is current with operating system
    and antivirus updates. Some classrooms have computers installed and those are also
    safe. H drives and U drives are currently unavailable so be sure to have any necessary
    files on a flash drive or Google Drive if you need to access files from a classroom
    computer. 

  • Can I safely use Eduroam to connect to Wi-Fi?

    Yes. Both Wi-Fi through Eduroam and wired ethernet are fine for personal devices. 

    University-owned computers should have the Carbon Black client installed before connecting
    to Eduroam or the wired ethernet.

  • How can I access library services?
    (New Nov. 17, 2020)

    All Libraries online services are now available, including Interlibrary loan, course
    reserves and off-campus access to articles, e-books and other e-resources via the
    Libraries website.

  • Is my mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.) safe on Eduroam? 
     

    At this point there is no indication that mobile device platforms (iOS, Android) are
    being targeted. It is important to remember to regularly install security updates
    on mobile devices.

  • Is any of my personal information compromised?

    At this time, we do not have any reason to believe that personal information has been
    compromised.

  • When systems are restored, will all of my files be intact?

    At this time, ITS has found backups intact and we do not have any reason to believe
    that files will not be restored.

  • How long will it be before the campus systems are back to normal?

    It is not yet known when all systems will return to normal. ITS continues to work
    to safeguard the systems so they will be operational and the campus will be updated
    as systems are brought back online.

  • Are system sensors working?

    Sensors on special equipment such as ultra-low freezers, oxygen sensors, etc. and
    Sodexo equipment are functioning, but they are not reporting automatically through
    our building management system. If you have such equipment, we recommend you check
    to see if it is functioning.

    The campus fire alarm system is functioning.

  • Is building/card access affected?

    Building/card access is generally functioning as it should.