• Bulletin Board

    Technology Announcements, Programs and Services
     

    Scam alert [Posted: November 13, 2017]

    A phishing attempt is using a screen-shot of a City Schools web page to lure employees to enter their user ID and password (log-in credentials) in order to gain access to other sensitive information. This is a fictitious website.  Individuals may email you this link in an email as an attempt to lure you into entering your credentials. This is simply a screen shot of our web page (with the hackers web address) in an attempt to gain private credentials. ITD has blocked this site, but all users must be mindful of web addresses when accessing  City Schools resources from external devices or computers.
     
    As a reminder, ALWAYS access City Schools’ resources via our main page
     
    Fake web page example
     
     
    Baltimore City Public Schools does not solicit personal information (e.g., social security numbers) from employees over the phone or through email. Employees should not participate in any call which seeks this type of personal information or respond to any email seeking the same. 

    Click here for more information on how to protect yourself from these attacks.

    If you see any suspicious activity, contact ITD Service at (443) 642-3000.
     
     

    Computer safety alert [Posted: October 25, 2017]

    A new ransomware outbreak ("Bad Rabbit") is spreading across the globe. The Information Technology department is working to ensure that all systems are protected, we want to show you what to look for in case you encountered it here at work or at home.

    The ransomware is often delivered via a compromised (and possibly legitimate) webpage. If you see a pop-up message about updating Adobe Flash like the one below, do not click anywhere on it. Instead, call the IT support desk immediately at 443-642-3000.

     Malware image

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Clicking on the above will load the malware may onto your system where it could encrypt/destroy files. If you encounter this at home, log out without interacting with your browser, log back in, and immediately clear the browser history. You should also avoid the infected website for a few days.

    If your machine is encrypted after the malware process completes, you will see:

    Malware example

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Followed by a payment page:

    Malware example  

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    NOTE: If you see either of the two images above on your system, immediately shut down your computer and call the IT support desk at 443-642-3000.

    The malware will sometimes attempt to connect with the following passwords. If you’re using one of these anywhere, change it to something else immediately.

    Poor passwords

     

    Password resets

    City Schools employees are encouraged to use the password reset tool to reset Network passwords and Employee Self Service passwords. Network passwords are used for features such as logging into workstations and Office 365. Employee Self Service passwords are used to access paycheck statements, for open enrollment, to register for professional developments, or to apply for new positions.

    The password reset tool can be accessed by visiting https://reset.bcps.k12.md.us or by clicking on the password reset icon found on most school computer desktops.

    For assistance, view this tutorial video.
     
    Deadline: Ongoing
     

    Protecting against "ransomware" attacks

    Criminal hackers recently released a strain of ransomware, WannaCry, that spreads itself automatically across all workstations on a network. As of mid-May, this attack had impacted approximately 150 countries. Although the initial spread of the virus has slowed, modified versions are still being released across the globe.

    Be very suspicious when you get an email from an unknown sender or when you get an unexpected attachment. If you accidentally open one of these phishing email attachments, you might infect not only your own workstation, but other workstations as well. If there is a .zip file in the attachment, do not click on it: Delete the whole email. Remember, "When in doubt, throw it out!" Also, be careful with any external devices (i.e. thumb drives, storage devices, etc.) that you plug into your workstation. These external peripherals can carry viruses that easily migrate to your workstation.

    Please watch this video which outlines fraudulent emails and steps to take to ensure security. Additional helpful information can be accessed using the links below:
    As a reminder, City Schools' IT department does not initiate contact with staff via email to change passwords, obtain social security numbers, dates-of-birth, or other information that would be considered personally identifiable information (PII).
     

    Phishing attacks

    Email phishing attacks are attempts to steal personal information, such as usernames and passwords, and can appear to come from legitimate email accounts. Recent phishing messages have included the below examples:
    • “This is your last warning. You will not be able to receive or send mail in the next 8 hours. Click here to increase your Outlook mail box quota limit.”
    • “Your SD has exceeded its storage limit. CLICK HERE and click on FINISH to get more space or you won’t be able to send mail.”
    • “Kindly send list of W-2 (tax and wages) copy of all employees for 2016 in PDF here.” 
    Please note that the district office never sends messages such as these.

    Because City Schools’ email servers have been experiencing increased phishing attacks, staff members are encouraged to delete all suspicious email messages and avoid opening attachments from unknown sources. They are also encouraged to watch this video, which outlines fraudulent emails and steps to take to ensure security. (Click here if you experience technical difficulties when viewing the video.) 
     

     


    How to Access and Use the Guest Wireless Network

    Visitors to City Schools schools and offices can now access the internet by connecting to the BCPSS-GUEST wireless network. After connecting to the network, visitors will be redirected to a registration page. Guest access requests will be approved by a City Schools staff member who is a wireless approver.


    Using public wi-fi safely

    Local coffee shops, airports, or public gathering places that provide free wireless networks are convenient, but are often not secure. Follow these guidelines when using public wi-fi.
    1. Use caution and be aware that public wi-fi is inherently insecure. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all susceptible to wireless security risks.
    2. Treat all wi-fi links with suspicion and avoid connecting to unknown or unrecognized wireless access points.
    3. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when you connect to a public wi-fi network to encrypt all of your data that passes through the network.
    4. Avoid logging into websites which put your identity, passwords, financial or any other personal information at risk.
    5. Protect your devices against cyber attacks with a rigorous anti-malware and security solution and ensure that it’s updated regularly.

     For more information, visit www.staysafeonline.org.


    5-Digit Dialing

     

    When placing phone calls between schools and district buildings and vice versa, callers may have to use 10 digits instead of 5 because district phones were recently upgraded. All schools can be reached using 10-digits.
     
    (Expires: Ongoing)