Monday, January 15, 2018

Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities – January 15

What is happening? Major security vulnerabilities have been announced that affect all Intel CPUs (and many other CPUs) dating back several years. Emergency patches are being released by multiple vendors to mitigate the risk.

What do you need to do?
For IST managed workstations/servers:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Skype for Business (S4B) maintenance – January 15

What is happening? Patches will be applied to virtual host systems that the Skype EC2 pool is hosted on as a result of guidance from VMWare regarding the latest CPU exploits. All three servers will be shut down, the host will be updated and then the front end will be restarted.

Note: This maintenance is being done prior to the Skype MC data centre maintenance happening this week to prevent any further complications with this required patch work.

When is this happening?  Monday, January 15 from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SharePoint maintenance – January 17

What is happening? As part of the regular maintenance of IST services, updates will be applied to SharePoint servers. These updates will impact both and services.

When is this happening? Wednesday, January 17  from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 18.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Windows 10 feature upgrade to version 1703 – January 10-February 5

What is happening? As part of the continuous upgrade process for Windows 10, IST will be advertising a managed upgrade via SCCM for Windows 10 workstations (Academic Support). The advertisement will allow you to select when the upgrade applies. Machines running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 are not affected. (IST was upgraded before the holiday break).

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

UPDATE: VM-Based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) upgrade and outage – January 12-15

UPDATE: Due to the limitations of old virtual machines (VMs) they must be rebuilt to meet the new standards which will require the maintenance window to be extended. The maintenance will now continue until Friday, January 19 at 5:00 p.m.

Important note: For those using personal VDIs, if it is necessary that your workstation remain online during the maintenance window or if you absolutely need to keep your old VM, please contact  Hong Zheng,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Skype for Business (S4B) maintenance – January 9-11

What is happening? The Skype for Business EC2 data centre pool will be updated to the latest version and an emergency Windows patch will be applied. This patch will also provide better support for the new Mac Skype for Business 2016 client.

When is this happening? 

Tuesday, January 9 at midnight.

  • All EC2 homed users will be failed over to the MC data centre pool. (See impact notes below)

Wednesday, January 10 and Thursday, January 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

WCMS server emergency patching – January 4

What is happening? The servers that host WCMS production and pilot sites (including forms, UWaterloo Scholar and WatVote) will have security patches applied.

When is this happening? Thursday, January 4 from 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

What is the impact?  WCMS pilot and production sites will be briefly unavailable at some point during the maintenance window.

Note: Servers for non-production sites may also be briefly unavailable throughout the day while the servers are patched.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

myWaterloo no longer available – January 3

What is happening? myWaterloo is no longer available due to an expired Nexus security certificate. The certificate expired on Wednesday, December 27 and will not be renewed.

What is the impact? Mailservices accounts can no longer be accessed via myWaterloo.

Accessing your mailservices account: Users can securely access their mailservices account via SquirrelMail:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Student software moving to Retail Services – January 2

What is happening? The following student software for purchase will be moving from IST Service Desks EC2 to the University of Waterloo Bookstore:

  • ArcGIS
  • Maple

When is this happening? As of Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Why is this happening? The move is being made to make it more convenient for students to access/purchase software required for their courses.

Friday, December 22, 2017

WatIAM accounts compromised - December 22

On the afternoon of Friday, December 22, IST's security team has locked approximately 75 WatIAM accounts due to an external breach.

For more details on this breach please see:

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