Information Technology

Beware of Seasonal Scams and Malware

Dear College of Education,

As millions of shoppers begin looking for great deals this holiday season, the Education IT team wants to remind everyone to be on the lookout for scams, phishing schemes, and malware.  Below are a couple of articles that touch on the subject.   Be alert and have a restful and enjoyable holiday season!

–Education IT

Cyber Monday: Beware the malware

Scammers are ready for unsuspecting online shoppers to be hunting for holiday bargains that hit on what has become known as Cyber Monday (given that more than 40 percent of you will be buying holiday gifts online, according to this survey). There will no doubt be malware hiding on retail sites, fake sites created just for distributing viruses and Trojans, and e-mails with malware-laden attachments and links leading to nastiness…


Holiday Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

added to on November 18, 2010 at 02:17 pm

In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of phishing scams and malware campaigns that take advantage of the winter holiday and holiday shopping season. US-CERT reminds users to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email messages that could be part of a potential phishing scam or malware campaign.

These phishing scams and malware campaigns may include but are not limited to the following:

  • electronic greeting cards that may contain malware
  • requests for charitable contributions that may be phishing scams and may originate from illegitimate sources claiming to be charities
  • screensavers or other forms of media that may contain malware
  • credit card applications that may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts
  • online shopping advertisements that may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts from bogus retailers

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:


How to Avoid the Latest Virus Threat – AntiVirus 2010

Computer viruses can be anywhere and infect our machines with just a single click of the mouse.  Using traditional Anti-Virus programs and guidelines (such as not opening strange emails, etc.) certainly help keep us protected.  However, a new threat has emerged that is particularly tricky: Antivirus 2010.        

Even though it claims to be good software, Antivirus 2010 is malware!!!        

Antivirus 2010 comes in many varieties, but they all have the same basic components.  The virus spreads via infected websites, and sometimes the only way to tell if a website is infected is when the virus tries to infect your machine.  The way it tries to install itself is very clever…     

The first thing that happens is that a screen will pop up saying that you are infected with a virus.  Typically, it looks something like this:        

AntiVirus 2010 warning (click to enlarge)


Now, most people’s first instinct is likely going to be to click on the “System Scan” or “Update Now” button to clean the infection.  However, clicking on either of those buttons will actually install the virus.  In fact, even clicking the red x at the top of the window may install the virus.  It will then start looking like it is actually scanning your computer.  However, it is just installing the virus.  Eventually, it will tell you that more viruses were found and that you need to purchase the full version of the software to fully clean your computer.  This is just an attempt to steal your credit card number.        

So, what should you do when you see this type of warning pop up on your computer?       

Actually, you should do exactly what you should do if you see the actual McAfee virus warning pop up on your computer (see screenshot below):    

Don’t click anything and call EdIT right away!    (Our phone number is 765-494-2658) 

Education IT will stop by and investigate and let you know if the warning is real.  Usually, if you haven’t clicked anything, we can shut down the computer and prevent the virus from installing.     

If it is actually McAfee telling you that there is a virus on your computer, then we need to see what the virus is in order to take care of it properly.        

This is what McAfee looks like. It is very similar to the virus screen. (click to enlarge)


Remember, a 10 minute visit by an Education IT staff member could save you from having to spend a day without your computer while it is being re-installed.  So don’t hesitate to give us a call:  765-494-2658  

Thank you and happy computing!!!    

— Education IT    

How to prevent your computer from sleeping

Do you need to run a big job overnight?  Do you need to prevent your computer from falling asleep on the job?

If you’re using a program that needs to run for an extended period of time, the Education IT team can provide you with a small utility that — while it is running — will prevent your comptuer from going to sleep.  We use it when rendering videos that sometimes take 4-5 hours to complete.

Please contact us and we’ll send you a link where you can download the program.

Windows Media for Macintosh

Do you have a Macintosh and need to view streaming video that is in a Windows Media format (such as a WMV video file)?  No problem!  You can use free software from Microsoft called “Windows Media Components for QuickTime”.  Below is a link where you can obtain the software, along with requirements and features…

Windows Media Components for QuickTime
(download and install this software on your Mac)

System requirements

– Intel or PowerPC G4 and G5
– Mac OS X version 10.4 or later
– QuickTime version 7.0 or later (for free Player)
– QuickTime Pro version 7.0 or later (for exporting movies in Player Pro, Studio, Studio Pro and Studio Pro HD)

***Playback features:

Supported audio codecs

– Windows Media Audio 9
– Windows Media Audio 9 Professional
– Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless
– ISO MPEG Layer 3 (MP3)
– Microsoft G.726
– Microsoft IMA ADPCM
– Microsoft G.711 aLaw
– Microsoft G.711 uLaw
– Microsoft ADPCM

Supported video codecs

– Windows Media Video 9
– Windows Media Video 9 Advanced (VC-1)
– Windows Media Video 8
– Windows Media Video 7
– ISO MPEG-4, versions 1.0 and 1.1
– Microsoft MPEG-4, versions 2 and 3
– Microsoft Motion JPEG 

Supported File formats

– Advanced Systems Format (ASF)
– Advanced Stream Redirector (ASX)
– Audio Video Interleaved (AVI)

Supported Network protocols

– MMS Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)

Need to buy an iPad?

Are you looking to buy an iPad?

An iPad can be purchased from within Purdue’s purchasing system by selecting the vendor “Apple”.  However, before you can order, you will need to know which of the 6 variations of the iPad you are interested in.

The iPad comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models and 3G cellular capabilities is an option for each.  The prices that you see on the following retail site are also the same prices for higher education.  There is currently no discounted pricing for the iPad.

If you need an external keyboard for the iPad, Apple offers an external keyboard with dock ss an accessory… and that can be purchased with the iPad in the purchasing system.

Your secretary should be able to place this order for you in the Purdue SRM system.

Video Editing Software and Hardware

Are you looking for a good video editing program?

Windows 7 has a free and simple video editor named “Windows Live Movie Maker” that you can download from the Microsoft web site.

Windows Live Movie Maker is a good video editor for simple edits and creating WMV files.  It also supports AVCHD files that come from HD camcorders.  

If you’re looking for something with more features, we recommend Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum costs about $100.00 through GovConnection:

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum from GovConnection

Vegas Movie Studio HD gives you much more granular control of the video editing process and has a great visual timeline for creating clips, arranging them in the order you want, and creating fades and transitions.  If you’re interested in a demo, contact Bob Evans (


Also, if you’re looking for a good camcorder, the Education IT team has been using a Sony HDR-CX110 Handycam flash-based camcorder with a 16 GB flash card.  This has been a good camera for recording meetings and events.  It can record both HD video and lower resolution video.  The video files generated by this camera, though large, work well natively within Windows 7 and are editable within Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum.

Sony HDR-CX110 Handycam
Records to SD card and supports 1080i high definition.

We use Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to render the video files to smaller wide-format H.264 MP4 files that can be placed on a web server or SharePoint site and downloaded by those who need access to the video.  See:

One thing to keep in mind when recording in HD mode is that the files will be very large and you will need ample storage space AND you will need to significantly compress video that will be placed on a streaming server so devices with low bandwidth network connections can download it.  For most recording needs, lower resolution and lower bit rates work well.  As long as the audio is good, most people will be able to get a sense for what is happening in the picture.

Purdue: Supercomputers Slow Down to Stay Cool in Summer Heat

An article about Purdue in CHE:

A group of information-technology specialists at Purdue University has found a way to beat the heat for a university data center’s two supercomputers. This summer, when temperatures rose and the campus cooling system wasn’t doing enough to bring them down, Purdue’s IT team reined in the clusters’ computing speeds to cut down on the heat the computers were generating.

For the rest of the story…