Thursday, 28 March 2013

Security - Google Docs Scam

A quick heads up about a new phishing ( variant we saw this morning. Being careful where you put your username and password should protect most people but we expect to see a few caught out.

What's different is the enticement of getting access to a Google Doc rather than trying to scare people into giving away their details. We suspect this scam is most likely to catch those with their heads down, trying to get their work done, churning through their inbox.

Remember: If you're asked to sign into anything other than the University portal ( when trying to access a Google Doc then please report it the Helpdesk's dedicated phishing address -

So, how does it work?

Step 1 - Someone gets an email asking them to sign in to see a Google Doc

Step 2 - After clicking on a link they're taken to a phishing page, clicking on any of the logos in the bottom right gives a branded log in box. 
Step 3 - The username and password are sent to the criminals running the scam. The victim then finds that their account is misused to carry out further criminal activity and we've even had cases of stolen identities and emptied bank accounts.

We block the vast majority of scam emails targeted at the University but when that email comes from a trusted source (for example a compromised account at a university!) then it is likely to get through. Your help in promptly reporting these scams allows us to block the websites and email accounts used and report the scam to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.

Friday, 22 March 2013

MyPC unavailable 9-11am Tues Mar 26

MyPC, the PC booking system that allows students to reserve PCs for up to four hours at a time will be unavailable between 9am and 11 am on Tuesday March 26th. 
Whilst MyPC is unavailable, we will be working to improve the reliability of the MyPC booking webpages.
During this time, PCs in the Information Commons, St Georges library and Western Bank library will be available for use on a first come first served basis, but cannot be booked in advance for this time. It will also not be possible to make any new booking during this time.

Information on the MyPC booking service can be found at

Monday, 18 March 2013

myJob/myTeam unavailable during easter vacation for upgrade leading to huge improvements

Following extensive feedback from staff, CiCS and HR have improved the look and feel of myJob and myTeam as well as introducing functional improvements that allow you to book and approve annual leave with a lot less mouse clicks. New functionality has also been introduced to allow departments to manage non-standard working hours using Working Patterns. The biggest changes from the HR side are:

  • New version of myJob including a more streamlined process for booking annual leave, updating addresses and changing personal details, including your equality data.
  • New version of myTeam including new functionality allowing managers to approve leave requests en masse as well as individually.
  • New functionality within myTeam enables departments to maintain working patterns accurately.

The new and improved myJob/myTeam will be implemented by CiCS staff working through the easter vacation, with no downtime during working hours. Services will be switched off at 5pm Thursday 28 March, the upgrade will be implemented over the four-day weekend, and services will be restored before 8am Tuesday 2 April. There will be no access to any of the SAP systems during the easter weekend. Payslips will be available from 5pm Tuesday 26 March until 5pm Thursday 28 March, and then from Tuesday 2nd April onwards.

The improvements to myJob and myTeam are being made possible by the installation of SAP Enhancement Pack 5. This installation was itself made possible by the major upgrade to SAP systems that took place early 2012, which at the time we described as a platform that would enable us to make future improvements to myJob, myTeam and the other SAP systems. We hope that, when you have used them, you agree that these improvements have been worth the work.

To help you get used to the new look and feel of myJob and myTeam, HR are delivering a comprehensive programme of training across the University. In addition, new web pages with quick tips and user guides have been created on HR’s website linked below, which also details the working patterns functionality.

Introducing the new version of myJob/myTeam

Friday, 15 March 2013

Exciting research computing event for Sheffield 15th April

High Performance Computing at Sheffield:
New Avenues the N8 Tier 2 Facility

Date: Monday 15th April 2013
Venue:   The Tapestry Room, Firth Court, The University of Sheffield


HPC@sheffield is an exciting University of Sheffield research computing event that will provide an opportunity for researchers, post-graduates and final year undergraduates to learn about projects using national research computing facilities and HPC facilities hosted locally at The University of Sheffield. HPC@sheffield will comprise a series of presentations and a poster session. The objective of the event is to publicise what is available and to provide examples of what may be achieved using e-Infrastructure ready to use by our research community.

The emphasis of the 2013 event will be on to introduce the new regional N8 HPC centre and to demonstrate the N8 facility for science and engineering applications using HPC. 
To book a place on the event go to


Morning Session (Chair Prof Robertus v Fay-Siebenburgen)

1000 Opening and Welcome

1010 Introduction to the N8 facility, Dr Alan Real, N8 HPC Technical Director, University of Leeds

1045 Accessing and Using the N8 facility, N8 HPC Service Development Manager University of Manchester

1120 Coffee

1140 An N8 Case study

1205 Study of Unsteady flow over rough-wall surfaces using Iceberg/Polaris – Dr Mehdi Seddighi-Moornani

1230 Poster Session - lunch

Afternoon Session (Chair Prof John Harding)

1330 Using remote visualisation for bio-simulation with Iceberg, Prof Damien Lacroix
Chair in Biomedical Engineering Introduction to Research Computing Showcase

1405 New developments in HPC – Dell

1440 Using ANSYS with HPC systems – Simon Cross ANSYS UK

1515 Coffee and posters

1535 Using High Performance Computing to trace the origins of a coat colour gene – Prof Jon Slate, Molecular Ecology Lab, Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences

1555 A Study of of torsional drivers in the solar atmosphere – Stuart Mumford, Solar Wave Theory Group, SP2RC, School of Maths

1615 Simulation of Turbulence Structures for Aeronautical Flow Control, Dr Siouris and Wei Wang

1635 Large scale finite element analysis of cancellous bone tissue using HPC..CHEN YUAN

1655 Close

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Apologies for network problems last night

At around 6pm last night the University community experienced widespread network problems. These prevented students from logging into the student computing service in the IC and other computing rooms and also prevented staff and students from connecting to wired and wireless internet across campus and in residences.

These network problems can be quite complex. CiCS staff initially set to work to investigate and fix the underlying cause. Once this was rectified, additional CiCS staff were required to restore services, which began to return shortly after 8pm.

Throughout the work we kept people updated on progress via twitter and in return received lots of useful information and feedback about the effects our work was having such as when and where services were returning.

Thankfully, such widespread service outages are quite rare. We apologise to our staff and students for the loss of services last night, and in addition thank everyone who supported us through the work and passed on information that helped us diagnose and fix the problems.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dropbox on Student Computers

Over the coming week we will be changing how Dropbox works on the student computers, for those who have it installed. The change will mean that you have to relink your dropbox account each time you wish to use it. Also you must ensure all of your files are fully synchronised before logging out, as any updates which have not been synchronised will be lost.

The change is being made to help protect both your computer account and Dropbox files. Dropbox is not designed for shared computers, like those in the IC and other computer rooms. It can cause problems for your computing account, making things very slow and eventually preventing you from logging in. It also puts your files at risk of damage, meaning you could lose work. 
Click here for more information about online file storage and sharing on student computers

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Incident Contact System

The new Incident Contact System went live yesterday.

The system ensures that the University Control Room staff are able to contact all the appropriate people if an incident should occur. 

Our web pages give information for Heads of Departments, the Control Room and nominated staff with details of how to log in and manage the contacts list. In the event of an incident we need to be confident that the incident contacts system contains up to date information regarding staff, buildings and rooms. 

Incident Contact System