Updated: 21 April 1999
More on security leak for Dal telnet sessions
The security breach at the Dalhousie University computer system
reported last week was traced to an Israeli computer system
who were in turn being used by a remote hacker to break into other
machines. They had been unaware that their security had been compromised
and traced their break-in to an ISP in Pontiac, Michigan which the hacker had
accessed through a dialup connection. The hacker's account was immediately
cancelled and legal action is likely to follow.
Users of ug.cs.dal.ca, is2.dal.ca, and
borg.cs.dal.ca who used a telnet connection
to connect with CCN between Monday April 12 and Thursday April 15 should change
their CCN passwords as a precautionary measure in case
they have been compromised. The hacker had put in a program that read the first
part of each login session on the Dal machines, catching usernames and
passwords. Only one CCN user appears to have had his account accessed
by the hacker, who was only in the account for thirty seconds or so. The user picked up the
unauthorized access by recognizing that he had not last logged in on the time the
system reported to him.
Well, Tin's back
CCN Userhelp and CCN Tech have decided to return
Tin, the original CCN newsreader program to active, fully supported status
after months of use by beta-testers have shown no problems
with the service. To access it, simply use the g)o tin shortcut, typing
'gtin' (without the quotes) when in Lynx. Regular readers
of the Beacon will
recall last issue's
Power User's column by Norman De Forest describing all the Tin commands. It is
no longer necessary to subscribe to the beta-tin mailing list to use Tin and questions about
Tin should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org now.
More than fifty people braved inclement weather to attend the
CCN Annual General Meeting at the North Branch library April 13th. A demo
of the new Chebucto Plus PPP service
opened the meeting, with displays of the new service's speed at
getting web pages and downloading files making a favorable impression on
audience members. David Potter and Andrew Wright also showed CCN members
the new web-based email service IMP
which enables CCN users to access their email from any common graphic
web browser anywhere in the world and the new IP-FTP file transfer
system for CCN Information Providers and answered audience questions.
Several new CCN Board members were elected or confirmed in office
for two year terms; David Murdoch heading CCN-Tech, Sue Newhook heading
the CCN Communications committee, and Doug McCann, Krista Olmstead,
Richard Rudnicki and Andrew Wright as new Board members.
Board Chair Peter Morgan reported that CCN has now acquired federally registered
charitable status as of this past week and we should have the official paperwork
soon. He described the various contributions and advances made to the organization
by its hard-working volunteers including new accounting systems and the many partnerships
with other organizations including government and commercial agencies. He also outlined
some of the many challenges facing CCN including increased graphical access to CCN
driving the need to reorganize the online presentation of CCN information to better reflect
the many facets of this diverse organization, declining memberships due in no small part
to the incredibly competitive Internet environment in Halifax, and the need
to get volunteers involved with more of CCN's activities.
The CCN Board is now interviewing the applicants for the
new Executive Director position, the full-time employee responsible
for coordinating the development, management, administration, and
representation of Chebucto.
Office hours are now 1 PM - 4 PM
Monday to Friday in Room 125 in the Chase Mathematics Building
on the Dalhousie University campus. Messages to the office
telephone 494-2449 may be left on the voice mail system
and will be responded to as necessary.
Chebucto users are invited to use the online help
Users with email access requiring assistance should send
email to email@example.com detailing their
Chebucto Plus users
requiring assistance not covered in the online help documentation at
http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/PPP/Help can send email to
System Load Investigation Continues
Investigations by the volunteer CCN Technical Committee
into the continuing high system loads on CCN are continuing.
The main suspect is a process which administers system resources
to dial-up users as they login. They are attempting to
recreate the problem on the old CCN machine by simulating
repeated logins to it.
Another contributing factor has been the ZMailer mail delivery
program's sometimes compulsive behavior attempting to deliver
undeliverable mail. Most often caused by users whose inboxes
have been shut down due to their exceeding their quotas, the
mail program has sometimes tried to send each email thousands of times
to the same inaccessible user. It has been necessary for CCN-Tech
volunteers to manually reset this several times and an upgraded
version of ZMailer is being set up to help eliminate this problem.
High system loads can have many effects upon a user's
session: retrieving web pages can be slowed, data searches
and email sessions can stall and a user may be logged out
by the system when the session time is up without receiving
the 5 minute warning usually sent by the system.
Chebucto Plus Phase In Continues!
The Chebucto Community Net's new graphical PPP service,
Chebucto Plus, continues
its phase in with groups of current members being contacted by email.
They were offered the opportunity to upgrade their membership to
the Sustaining Member level required for
Chebucto Plus, with the unused balance
of their current memberships counting towards the new membership level. A
Sustaining Membership is $100 per year.
The volunteer Chebucto Plus team wants to build
the service slowly to ensure everything runs smoothly for users and will be offering
it to more users as our resources allow. Members will continue to be contacted
by email when they can be accommodated.
Details on Chebucto Plus,
including system requirements can be found at
(note upper case) and information on available help and support for
Chebucto Plus can be found at
You can read the original news release about
Chebucto Plus here.
Old CCN Domain Names Expire!
The old CCN domain names
being officially retired at the request of our upstream service provider,
the Network Operations Centre at Dalhousie University.
All links and bookmarks to pages and addresses on CCN using these names will
soon no longer work. Changing these links and addresses to
chebucto.ns.ca now will
ensure trouble-free continuing access to them.
Work continues on the purging of all references to these outdated addresses
from CCN files and documents including User Profiles. Some
Chebucto users may be experiencing slower logins as their
file directories, addressbooks and web pages are checked for
the now outdated domain names when they login. The search is
a one time event though users did have to go through the process
a second time after the holidays when a log file was accidentally
deleted. Users are urged to remove any references to the old domain names
and may choose to
automate this process
if they wish.
Please submit CCN news items to:
D. Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
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