KRACK Vulnerability Update

On October 19th Andrew wrote about the KRACK vulnerability that impacts most modern Wi-Fi devices.  Since then the SCLS Technology Team has been working to patch our supported Wi-Fi 6a00d8341d32e053ef01bb09cedf56970d
devices and system.  Patching a device is straight forward, however patching our Enterprise Wireless system took a fair amount of preparation and planning to implement.  I am happy to report that as of 10/31/17 the SCLS Enterprise Wireless system has been patched.  With the exception of a couple devices, our entire infrastructure is now invulnerable to KRACK!

Please remember that you still need to be diligent about your home devices.  Make sure to run any updates for all Wi-Fi capable devices!

 

How bad is the Opioid epidemic in my county?

 Dhs-logoImage 

    WISH - Opioid Module

The Opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency. As a parent, I wanted to find data on how serious the Opioid epidemic is in Green County where we live. It turns out that the Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) recently published a new Opioid Module dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/opioid/index.htm on Wisconsin drug overdose mortality and morbidity that includes county data.

Developed by the Wisconsin Office of Health Informatics and the Injury Prevention program, the Opioid Module includes two query options:

For each module, you first select the type of data you are interested in including:

  • Type and characteristics of measure (e.g., number of deaths involving prescription opioids)
  • Geographic area (NOTE: multiple counties can be selected)
  • Time period (years, quarters)
  • Age, sex, race, and ethnicity.

You then define the row and column output you want to see. Here is a Jing video of a sample query I ran for Opioid-Related Hospital Encounters in Green County: screencast.com/t/LlCn2sVPigAp.  When the values are less than 5, they show up as an “X” to comply with Wisconsin vital records data privacy guidelines. Unfortunately, there is not a direct export to excel but copy/paste works with some reformatting.

Be sure to check out the other WISH modules on births, deaths, cancer, FoodShare usage, and more: dhs.wisconsin.gov/stats/index.htm

Low-cost internet

Last week I saw an article in the Wisconsin State Journal that I thought was worth sharing. It's about Charter's low-cost Spectrum Internet Assist program, which is available for $14.99 per month to families in all of its service regions who qualify for the National School Lunch Program or its Community Eligibility Provision and seniors over age 65 with Supplemental Security Income. Internet

Here's a link to the article on Madison.com:  East Madison Community Center partners with Charter to promote low-cost internet package

Sounds like a nice option for folks who have Charter service in their area and might not ordinarily be able to afford the regular high-speed internet packages!

Tip: To find the info on the Charter site, I did a search for "assist."

Hey, can you stop what you're doing and proofread this for me?

GrammarlyAbout two months ago or so an ad popped up while I was watching a YouTube video about Grammarly. The ad indicated it can check your spelling and grammar for free! I feel like I’m always asking someone (way smarter than me)to check my work for mistakes, and when I saw this ad I thought I would give it a try to see how well it worked. This article is going to be all me and Grammarly, so be kind in the comments if you find any mistakes, please.


You can download Grammarly from there website for free. They have a version for Microsoft Office and for web browsers. I downloaded both options just to try out. If you happen to write a lot more than I do and would like a more robust version, they do offer a subscription version.


I wrote this in Word with Grammarly turned off until this point. I intentionally misspelled a couple words, which I fixed that both Microsoft Office Spell Checker and Grammarly caught. I also left out a comma (not intentional) between mistakes and please at the end of the first paragraph that Grammarly said should be there.


I’m also getting an alert from Grammarly that it see’s five more mistakes that the Premium version will fix. Not today it won’t! Those are for you to find!

KRACK Vulnerability

A major vulnerability to WPA2 encryption was discovered recently by security expert Mathy Vanhoef.

The vulnerability, known as "Key Reinstallation Attack" or “KRACK,” could make your wireless network traffic from WPA2-protected devices susceptible to attack.  A recent PC World story says Evil-Computer-300px hackers can read your network traffic, allowing them to steal financial information, passwords, private conversations and other sensitive data.  They could also inject dangerous ransomware or malware into HTTP content that you are accessing.

Most modern Wi-Fi-enabled devices do utilize WPA2 to encrypt network traffic.  SCLS is actively patching the equipment it supports for libraries.  Libraries should be concerned about patching the devices we do not support.  Everyone should update their devices at home as well.  If you have Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or Windows 10 installed on your device and have automatic updates enabled, you are probably safe.  Microsoft issued security patches for its supported operating systems on October 10th.  Other technology such as Google, Android and Apple devices, streaming content players, routers, mobile phones and security cameras may require patches as well.  The links below may help you find the status of some of the devices you support.

https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/byvendor?searchview&Query=FIELD+Reference=228519&SearchOrder=4

https://ensurtec.com/patch-status-krack/

http://www.zdnet.com/article/here-is-every-patch-for-krack-wi-fi-attack-available-right-now/

https://github.com/kristate/krackinfo

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/list-of-firmware-and-driver-updates-for-krack-wpa2-vulnerability/

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/10/16/krack-wifi-vulnerabilities-patched-apple-ios-macos/

Ordering PCs in 2017

Calendar
If you still need to order PCs, barcode scanners, or printers in 2017, please pay close attention to these dates:

Friday, November 10 - 2017 bill to you by December 2017.
Order by this date to guarantee you'll have a bill in your hands from SCLS by the end of 2017.

Friday, December 8 - 2017 bill to you by January 2018.
Order by this date if you need a bill dated 2017 but can accommodate the bill being delivered to you in January 2018.  

To help libraries plan for PC replacements, SCLS regularly updates libraries' Workstation Status Reports. If you have any questions about ordering, please contact Craig.

YouTube Tips and Tricks

    Is there anyone that doesn't know what YouTube is?  There isn't a day goes by that I am not on YouTube watching/listening to something either while I do my hair and makeup in the morning or making dinner at night.  If you are anything like me and you watch YouTube videos then you watch regular TV then you might already know these tips and tricks.  If not, here are some tips and tricks that I use when watching YouTube videos.

Loop a video:

    Have a song you can't get enough of?  YouTube will loop (continuously play) it for you.  Simply right click the video and select Loop.

 

Share a video at a certain time:

    Want to share a cute cat video with your friends but the real action doesn't start until 1:00 into the video?  No problem, just click Share at the bottom of the video and check the box Start at and enter a time.  Then choose how to share the video.   Share a video at a certain time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captions:

    Maybe you are waiting in line at Starbucks and you don't have headphones.  Turn on the captions!  Captions are not available on all videos, but if it is you can click on the CC button on the bottom of the video. 

 

Watch Later:

    This is my most used tip for YouTube.  Let's say I'm watching a video and on the side of the video player is a couple similar videos I want to watch next.  Put your cursor on the thumbnail for the video and an option will appear in the upper right corner that looks like a clock.  This will add it to your Watch Later playlist which you can access anytime in the left menu bar of YouTube.

 

 Quick way to pause video:

    Almost get caught watching a cat video while at work when your boss walked in?  Simply press the space bar on the keyboard to pause the video fast.

 

Transcript:

    Watching a video for educational purposes but missed a quote?  You can view a transcript of the video easily.  Click on the three dots at the bottom of the video by the share button and select Open Transcript.  This displays the captions essentially and time stamps which you can click on to view that part of the video.     

View this photo

 

 

'Tis the season - clean your keyboards and mice.

I'm reprising a post of Cindy's from Sept 2009; a timely post as we work our way into the next cold and flu season.  Plus my keyboard needs a good cleaning.  Heidi O.

Keyboard Ickyness

Dirty Keyboard

Did you know that a study from the University of Arizona found more germs per inch on a keyboard or a mouse than on a toilet seat?  And not just a few more but many times more.  Yuck! 

 

Unfortunately most keyboards just don’t react well to a bath.  Nor do they really react well to bleaching.  And washing your hands after each and every time you touch your keyboard or mouse just isn’t practical.  So what can you do?  One recommendation is to wipe down your keyboard and mouse with commercial anti-bacterial computer spray or wipes.  Instead of a commercial cleaner, you could even use something as simple as isopropyl alcohol or a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.  (That’s a major part of what’s in a lot of the commercial cleaners anyway and it’s cheaper.)

Tips for wiping down your keyboard or mouse:

  1. It easier to wipe down the keyboard and mouse while the computer is turned off so you don’t have random keystrokes and mouse clicks doing strange things to your PC. 
  2. Make sure that whatever you’re using isn’t too wet since both keyboards and mice don’t like when liquid gets down into their insides . 
  3. If you’re using a spray, make sure to spray the cloth and not spray the keyboard or mouse directly. 
  4. Don't use any anti-bacterial computer wipes or sprays on LCD monitors unless it specifically says it’s safe. 

So how often should you wipe down your keyboard and mouse?  I looked online and opinions on that differ.  Most recommendations were for around once a week, though some recommended daily if there was a nasty illness going around the office.  Just make sure you're not doing this so often you wipe the letters off of your keyboard.

Annoying "Untitled" Notepad Header

I like to use Notepad a lot to take some quick notes and then print them off without saving the file. There is one thing that always annoyed me when I did this and that was that the word "Untitled" always showed up as the header. I would just cross it off with a pen after I printed out the document. I have since discovered a way to fix this problem and I wanted to share it with you.

To customize the Notepad header use these simple steps:

  1. Click File and select Page Setup...
  2. In the Header textbox enter your desired header or just clear it
  3. Click OK

There, annoying Notepad header problem solved!

A few other cool things you can do in Notepad are:

  • Insert the Date and Time by pressing F5
  • Insert a timestamp each time you open a file by having .LOG as the first line in the file

Paste without formatting

KeyboardThis week I learned a new keyboard command, and I can't believe I didn't know it before now: paste without formatting.  It's perfect when you want to copy and paste text but you're only interested in the text, not the formatting.

Ctrl-Shift-V

(regular paste is just Ctrl-V)
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So... as I was typing this, I was thinking it sounded a little familiar.  A quick search of the TechBits blog (using the search box on the blog) and sure enough!  We have written about this twice before (Aug 2013 and June 2016), and one of those posts was even mine! So how do I remember this for next time? What tips do you have for remembering handy keyboard shortcuts? Each time I learn it I think this keyboard is super-handy, but somehow I can seem to make it stick as part of my repertoire...)