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The active alerts on campus are as follows:

SERVICE RESTORED – Blackboard may be slow or unavailable

Posted on April 30th, 2014 by Help Desk

As of 10:15 AM this morning, Blackboard has been having intermittent issues. Until these issues are officially resolved, we’d advise that you not work on anything important in Blackboard. If you must work in Blackboard at this time, please save a copy your work outside of Blackboard in case you experience issues connecting to Blackboard.

We will inform you when the outage has been cleared, but until then, please use caution.

Microsoft Office Now Available to Students at No Cost

Posted on April 29th, 2014 by Help Desk

Dear UCCS Students,


The full version of Microsoft Office 365 is now available to all active UCCS students at no cost. This includes access to all of the following offerings:

  • Office 2013 Professional for Windows
  • Office 2011 for Mac
  • Office Apps for iPad
  • Office Mobile for Android and iPhone


Office can be installed on 5 personal devices per student. For more information on how to download Office for your specific device please visit the following link:





Please let us know if you have questions and we will be happy to help.


Heartbleed Vulnerability Affecting OpenSSL

Posted on April 10th, 2014 by Help Desk

A security vulnerability that affects OpenSSL, being referred to as Heartbleed, was recently discovered and has potential for widespread impact. OpenSSL is software commonly used to secure web servers, including many web-based services throughout the university.

This vulnerability is receiving a lot of attention – and rightly so due to its potential impact. However, it is important to note that at this point, it is only a discovered vulnerability. It is not an active attack. In fact, there are no known events at this time where passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive data have been compromised due to this vulnerability.

What CU Is Doing

IT security principals on the University of Colorado campuses along with University Information Systems (UIS) staff are working to identify vulnerable systems, including externally hosted servers. As vulnerable systems are found, they are being patched and SSL certificates are being reissued.

What You Can Do

All CU Employees: Although we are not requiring password updates at this time, it’s an excellent opportunity to highlight some password best practices:

  • Do not use the same password for multiple services
  • Change passwords periodically
  • Use a password manager

Webmasters and other IT Practitioners: If you are running OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f, we recommend that you update as soon as possible to OpenSSL version 1.0.1g or later.

A major security vulnerability named Heartbleed was disclosed Monday night. The vulnerability affects a large portion of websites on the Internet and here at UCCS that use OpenSSL to encrypt webpages (pages that start with https). Tuesday morning, UCCS IT began evaluating and addressing all UCCS systems potentially impacted by this vulnerability.


Critical UCCS systems have already been upgraded to the latest version of OpenSSL, and we are actively upgrading secondary internal systems campus wide. Affected servers had to be updated to the latest version of OpenSSL and new SSL certificates obtained with new private keys to ensure that communications to servers remain confidential. We have no evidence that UCCS sites may have been compromised by this exploit and the web servers that handle UCCS authentication requests were never at risk, because they did not use OpenSSL.


In the meantime, we are advising everyone to be careful about what sites you visit. If you are curious as to whether or not a page may be impacted by the vulnerability, you can visit a heartbleed test site and put in the name of the website you are concerned about to see if it is vulnerable or not.


Also we have received notice from CU System that Nelnet’s vulnerabilities have been addressed by the vendor. Maintenance pages have been removed, and you can again make online and e-check payments.

Online Bill Pay Service Interruption

Posted on April 9th, 2014 by Help Desk

A major vulnerability has been identified in the technology that encrypts most secure websites transactions. This vulnerability would allow an attacker to pull information from a secure web server. We have found that Nelnet, the application used by students and parents for online bill pay, is currently subject to this vulnerability.


Because this places the payment information of our community members at immediate and direct risk, we have disabled Nelnet until we have verification from the vendor that the issue has been addressed. Maintenance pages are currently in place where this application is integrated.


This impacts students, parents, admitted students and academic departments from making credit card and e-check payments, both online and in person, for the following:


• Tuition and Fees

• Application Fees

• Confirmation Deposits

• Registration Advanced Deposits


University Information Systems is working with the vendor to resolve this issue as soon as possible. In the meantime, customers needing to make a payment should contact their respective Bursars office to coordinate alternate forms of payment. Additional information on alternative forms of payment by campus can be found online:


CU Boulder:

CU Denver:

CU Colorado Springs:–payment-address.html


A communication will be sent once this vulnerability has been addressed and online bill pay is again available.

Today is Microsoft Tuesday, the second Tuesday of the month and is known as “Microsoft Tuesday” in the IT world. This is when Microsoft releases security and bug updates for all Windows Operating Systems. It is very likely that your computer will need to reboot to finish applying the security updates.


The IT Department recommends you shut your computer down every evening. However, if you leave your computer on, we recommend you save all work and close all open applications to ensure you do not lose any work. Your machine will automatically reboot after these updates have been applied.


If you use Windows 8.1 you receive an additional update. This update adds additional features new keyboard and mouse functionality making Windows 8.1 easier to use, these are very welcome changes. The following link provides exhaustive detail on all of the new features:


Please let us know if you have specific questions and we will be happy to help.

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