University of Southern Indiana

IT News

IT Advisory: Blackboard DOWN Friday 8/26!

Sent: Tuesday 8/23/2016 4:58 pm CST

This IT Advisory is for all Blackboard users:

 On Friday, August 26, the Blackboard system will be TAKEN DOWN at 9:00pm for further maintenance and system upgrades. The system should be available after 10:00am on Saturday, August  27.  Please keep in mind that you may be able to access the system intermittently during this time, however, this does not mean maintenance is complete.  We will send an email when maintenance is complete and you can begin using the system again.  Note:  Instructors, please DO NOT schedule any tests or assignments at this time – students should not be able to access the system and information submitted during this time will be lost. 


We are sorry for any inconvenience the Blackboard downtime may cause and apologize in advance. 

USI IT Advisory: Employee Emails ( are being moved to the Cloud

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 11:05 AM CST

This summer the Information Technology department will migrate all employee ( email accounts to Microsoft’s cloud based suite called Office 365.  Our student and alumni mailboxes are already in Office 365.

We have created a web site so that you can find all information about these changes on one place.

IMPORTANT – all email communication about this migration will come from the IT Advisory email account. All messages from the IT Advisory account will have an employee’s name in the signature – and either their direct telephone number or the phone number of our helpdesk.  Do not fall for a phishing attack about a mail migration.

Mailboxes will be scheduled and moved in batches.  See the web site mentioned above for the schedule of moves.

Outlook will work the same after your mailbox is moved although the web-based mail may look different.  You should be running a current (2013 or 2016) version of Outlook (at Work and at Home).  If you are running Outlook 2007 or 2010, you should plan on updating to the newest version.  Outlook 2010 should work OK, but should have all patches applied.  As a USI employee, you can download a current version of Microsoft Office on your Personal equipment ( ).  Please let our IT technical staff update your work equipment.  Mobile devices may need to be reconfigured.  More information on that will be available as we get closer to the migration.

What can YOU do to prepare for this mail migration?  Clean up your mailbox.  Delete any messages that can be deleted.  You should also save any attachments in email messages that are large (greater than 20 MB).  See the pre-migration steps on the web site.

IF you wish to be part of the test group - please contact me.

If you are going to be traveling this summer - check the migration schedule.  If you need to have your mailbox moved sooner or later then, let me know.

New benefits you'll have with Office 365:

1)      Your mailbox will have 50 GB of storage!

2)      You can use the Outlook App on your devices.

More questions? See our Office 365 FAQ. Need help? Contact the IT Helpdesk x1080.

Carol Schmitt
email Administrator
Information Technology
University of Southern Indiana

USI IT Advisory:  Increased Ransomware Activity

Sent 3/16/2016 (1:57 PM CST)

This email is important for everyone.

Ransomware is a type of hacking where your data files are encrypted and you need to pay to gain access to them.  There is big money in this, and recently the Internet has seen a huge increase in attacks on both Windows PCs and Macs.  If you are ever caught by a ransomware virus, the most important thing is to have your data backed up.  We automatically backup everything on your H drive, but we know not everyone uses this, or you may not know if you are using this.  The data below specifies how many files you have on H, and how recently your files were updated.  This should help us both understand if your data is safe or needs additional safeguarding.

Number of files of H:      2335

Space used on H:             11,976.0 MB

Date of last change:        3/15/2016

Based on the date of last change, it appears you are actively using H and your files will be on our backup.  If the number of files looks very small and you think should be more, please submit a request with the help desk ( for someone to review your situation.

Besides having your data backed up, it is important to understand how to avoid the attack. It is being delivered by email as an attachment  (and may look like a legitimate word document or zip file), and is being delivered on popular web pages such as,, etc. (it will likely show up as a message that your Adobe Flash or Reader is out of date and needs updated, or saying your system

appears to be infected and needs to be cleaned).   Be very cautious

with anything arriving at your computer, and if you are unsure call the help desk for assistance.

If you work remotely, you probably won't be backing your files up on H.  And your personal files on your home computer are also probably not backed up anywhere.  Our remote users can store copies of their work files in OneDrive for Business cloud storage (contact the help desk for assistance).  And for your personal documents, probably the best solution is to use a cloud backup service such as for a small fee, or get a personal account on OneDrive or Google Drive which provides a reasonable amount of space for free.

Richard Toeniskoetter

USI IT Advisory:  Increased Hacking Activity

Sent 3/3/2016 (11:21 AM CST)
This advisory is important for everyone.

The internet community is seeing a sizeable increase in ransomware hacking attempts.  With this kind of attack, your data is encrypted and you can no longer access it until you pay a ransom fee to the hacker.  Whenever a new version of this attack appears, the hackers attempt to distribute it every way they can.  There is a new version called “Locky”, and it is being seeded into web pages that have been compromised by the hackers, and it is also showing up as attachment to email.  The email attachment can take many forms, one of the more common ones being a zip file, and we are also seeing this embedded into a Word document.

Here are several recent examples of what this may look like:

  • Email purportedly to be from your VISA Rewards program, with a statement or update notice attached
  • Email purportedly to be from Amazon, with information regarding an Amazon awards program attached
  • Email purportedly to be from the E-ZPass toll road system, with a bill or statement attached

It is extremely difficult to completely block this from our network.  This kind of virus is known as a “polymorphic” virus, meaning it can continue to change itself over time so that anti-virus tools have difficulty detecting it.  Please be extremely cautious when opening any attachments arriving in email or popping up on a web page.  If you are unsure about any attachment, forward it us and we will investigate it for you.

Exchange email upgrade FRIDAY evening

Sent 3/2/16 (1:22 pm CST)
This advisory is informational for everyone.

We will be applying patches on the Exchange email system on Friday night 3/4/2016 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm.

 This will cause an outage of mail.  Any mail SENT TO you during the down-time should be delivered when the system is back in operation.

 If you experience any mail problems after 9:00 pm on Friday, please don’t call my direct line or send an email directly to me.  Instead, call the help desk 812-465-1080.  Or email  By accessing the helpdesk, your issue will create a work ticket which can be seen by our entire department.  If one of us is busy or out of the office, your ticket can be seen by others.

 We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

Update: USI IT Advisory: Internet Outage

Sent 2/17/2016 (3:57 pm CST)
This advisory is informational for everyone.


 At approximately 3PM our Internet service was restored.  You most likely immediately noticing queued external emails beginning to deliver to your mailbox.  Emails sent to or arriving from off campus will now complete delivery, and no email has been lost.  The failure was in our Cisco firewall, and Cisco worked with us to bring it back online.

 Because this outage had a more significant impact on our students (who were unable to use Blackboard or email from noon till 3PM), we request that faculty take this into consideration for students who may have been attempting to complete homework or tests during this time.

 Richard Toeniskoetter

USI IT Advisory: Internet Outage

Sent 2/17/2016 (1:34 pm CST)
This advisory is important for everyone.

 Shortly before noon we lost connectivity from the campus to the Internet.  We have traced the failure to a specific piece of equipment and are troubleshooting, but have no ETA for restoring service. 

 This outage affects all traffic coming to or leaving the campus, on both wired and wireless networks.  While this is happening, students will be unable to use Blackboard or access their Eagles email. 

 We will update when we have it fixed or have more specifics regarding the timing of the fix.

 Richard Toeniskoetter

USI IT Advisory: myUSI unavailable

Sent 2/11/2016 (7:49am CST)

This advisory is relevant to anyone needing to use myUSI.   

Please use this alternative site to access Bb, Self-service, and other services found under myUSI:

Sent 2/11/2016 (8:31am CST)

myUSI is back online. Our provider in Cleveland had a network outage that took myUSI offline from roughly 7:15AM to 8:15AM. During this time students would not have had access to Blackboard or other tools on myUSI.

USI email from off campus to Exchange is impaired

Sent 2/10/2016

Last night we replaced an expiring Security certificate on the mail servers.  For the most part this process went really well.

 However, this morning we are finding that some mail from off campus (EAGLES-MAIL is included in this category) is generating a Non-Delivery to the sender.

 We are working on finding the solution to this issue, but we felt it necessary to tell faculty and staff that they might not be getting all the mail directed at them.

 Again, the sender IS getting a Non-Delivery message/Failure.  They should be aware that their message was NOT delivered.

This IT Advisory is relevant for all Blackboard users... 

There was an issue with enrollment this morning (2/3) and students have been disabled.  We are running the files currently and expect all students to be repopulated no later than 10:30 am this morning. Please keep in mind that if a student was in the middle of an exam, the exam will likely not be submitted correctly. Anything entered PRIOR to the student becoming disabled will be restored and all grades, assignments, etc. should be there without any issues. If you continue to experience issues after 10:30 am this morning, please contact the Blackboard Team at 812-465-1080 so that we can help resolve your issues.


On Saturday (2/6), Blackboard may be unavailable from 4:00-7:00 am CST for routine maintenance.  Please do not schedule any exams, quizzes, or assignments to be submitted during this time frame. 

Thank you.
Walter Fisher and Shannon Hoehn
USI Blackboard Team

Banner Downtime Tomorrow Night (1/15/16)

Sent 1/14/16

This advisory is relevant to Banner users:
The Banner PROD system will be unavailable after 5:00pm tomorrow (Friday, 1/15/2016) while we freeze census data for the spring term.

We expect Banner to be available after 8:00pm.



USI IT Advisory:  Some Help Desk ticket information lost

Sent 1/13/2016

This IT advisory is relevant to everyone on campus.

Over the holiday break, the Kace server which houses all of our trouble ticket data severely overheated and multiple discs failed.  It has taken quite a bit of time to recover this system and we should be fully running once again.  However - we lost all tickets entered after November 2nd up to Jan 6th.

If you entered a service request during this time frame and are waiting for someone to work with you, please contact the IT Help Desk.  They can check to see if you have any active tickets in the system, or recreate one if needed.

Richard Toeniskoetter


USI IT Advisory: Blackboard Course Information

Sent 1/13/2016

This IT Advisory affects all Blackboard Instructors:

The default availability for courses is set to "NO", which means all instructors must go into the system and make their course available for students to view when the course is ready.

To make a course available:

1)       Go into your course in Blackboard and go to "Control Panel"

2)       Choose the "Customization" tab

3)      Then click on "Properties"

4)      The 3rd point under Properties is "Set Availability"

5)      Choose "YES"

6)      Click "Submit" 

Also, in order to avoid students becoming disabled in the system, the features that allow you to merge course sections and enroll users have been temporarily disabled until roughly February 1.  If you need to have your course sections merged or you need to enroll a user, please make a ticket by sending an email to and we will complete the work for you.  

Thank you - and welcome to a new semester!

Shannon Hoehn & Walter Fisher

Your Friendly USI Blackboard Team 

Anthem Email Hoax

Sent 2/6/15

You may receive an email similar to that below purporting to be from Anthem and offering credit monitoring. Any email like this should be viewed with suspicion.

Do NOT respond to any email offers of this kind.

Please visit the special Anthem website, or call the special Anthem hotline, 1-877-263-7995 for the most up-to-date information.


IT Advisory – Moving & Purging O: Common Drive Contents

Sent 2/9/15

First a reminder/refresher/revelation:

"O: is called "Common" because it is just that, common access for all USI employees. Anything saved/copied there, with a few notable exceptions that prove the rule true, can be read, changed, deleted, by any USI employee. If you have been using O: for other purposes, please contact us for suggestions on how we can help you get a more private network shared space.

Second, the real reason why I asked you here: 

O: Common data is being evicted from its current SAN. You will not see any difference in where O: is, but you will see some change in contents. I do not want to have to move everything. Some of it is dated. Some of it should probably be shared or stored elsewhere.

 If you have data on O: that you want to have there after the move, please identify it before Friday afternoon, 1/30/2015. Sometime late afternoon, I plan to remove the share and recreate it on the new location. You will probably see the red X on your drive that will go away when you click on it. What will also go away is files that no one asks to have moved.

Please DO NOT respond to this email with information. Email the IT Help Desk, and have a ticket created, if you want to make certain you have tracking of the request to move.

Anyone who knows me knows I do not want to lose data. But I do want to clean up the O: drive and ultimately make it a more useful resource.


Remember: Friday.

And thank you.


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