Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Android Security Warning

Please see Matt’s note below on a security vulnerability that affects Android users. Here’s the short version – there’s an issue that allows applications to masquerade as trusted apps. Google has identified the issue and is pushing out a fix. The fix is not there yet, and when it gets there will be dependent on your phone’s manufacturer and carrier. For instance, Nexus phones will probably get the update quickest. As soon as you get notified of the security update, please apply it. This only affects Android users, not iPhone users.

You can download and run this tool to assess if you’ve been affected. If you have, feel free to come to us for help in dealing with it. Right now it’s expected you will show up as “Vulnerable” to the “FakeID” bug. The others should show Patched.



On the heels of the new IT Access Agreement to include BYOD, a security company has discovered a flaw in the Android OS. There is a patch available that has begun to get distributed to the open source code base as well as to manufacturers. It is in the new IT access agreement to keep personal systems patched and up to date.

You can read about the vulnerability here:


You can read about the updated Argonne IT Access Agreement here:


Written by Craig Stacey

July 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Web and FTP directories read/write again

We migrated the sites to the new server and re-exported the data. You should be able to read/write to these directories again. We’re spending the next couple of days looking for potential fallout from the move, so please let us know if something isn’t behaving as expected.

Written by Craig Stacey

July 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Web and FTP directories are temporarily read-only

The disk that serves our FTP and MCS websites hosted in MCS (as opposed to the main MCS Drupal website hosted on the Argonne web server) has developed an error that was causing the server to crash. We’ve set the disk to be read-only while we sync the data to a new disk. We’ll send an announcement when this is resolved, but for the moment expect /mcs/www.mcs.anl.gov, /mcs/web, /mcs/ftp, and ~/public_html pages to be either inaccessible or read-only.

Sorry for the trouble.

UPDATE: Quick Update: We expect to have read/write access to the affected web hosts later today (July 16).

Written by Craig Stacey

July 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Emergency server reboot complete

Things should be back to normal. Thanks!

Written by Craig Stacey

June 30, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Emergency server reboot

We’ve encountered a problem that requires an unscheduled reboot of one of our primary virtual machine servers. This reboot will take out some core services briefly. Until things come back, many websites, git repos, mailing lists, and other services will not respond correctly. I’ll send an update when it’s resolved.

Written by Craig Stacey

June 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Network connectivity issues affecting Argonne

There are networking issues affecting most of Argonne right now. CIS is aware and are working on it. We’ll send a notice when we know more.

Written by Craig Stacey

June 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Update: Confluence server (collab.mcs.anl.gov) is back

And we’re back. Things should be at the pre-upgrade state in terms of functionality. We’ll do some more dry runs on the upgrade before attempting again. Thanks for your patience.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Update: Confluence server (collab.mcs.anl.gov) mostly back

The server is mostly back — there are some aesthetic issues we’re still ironing out, but main functionality should be there for everyone. Will send more when things are closer to done, but you can feel free to use it again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Update Confluence Upgrade – Tuesday May 20th

The update has hit an unforeseen snag. We’re working on bringing things back, but will probably be another couple of hours. We’ll send an update when there’s more.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Confluence Upgrade – Tuesday May 20th


We will be performing maintenance on our Confluence server tomorrow, May 20th at 8AM. We will also be upgrading the installation to the latest version. We expect downtime to be no more than 15-30 minutes.

If you have any questions or if this outage window will cause any problems for you, please let us know by e-mailing systems@mcs.anl.gov


Written by Craig Stacey

May 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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