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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 07:19 PM   #1
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Macs banned from the network!

Hi all,

My network at work has banned my MacBook Pro from our network. Their reasoning is that it might be carrying an unknown virus, and so because it doesn't have their windoze virus protection program installed it's not allowed to play with the other computers. Is this valid? Is there a way I can get into the network in order to get internet access without them knowing it's me (our network is wired, and I think they've shut me out based on my ip... but I'm not really clear on how it works, they've just installed iBoss and I think that's what might have somehow tattled on me)?
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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Your IT dept are just being a$$holes. They need to do something to keep their jobs... if everyone at work saw how great your Mac was, they would be out of work.

They likely blocked you by MAC Address. You can maybe try this to spoof your MAC address: How to spoof your MAC address in Mac OS X

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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Mother*****s. I came across stories of this happening, but not recently. Your IT folks are morons.

Download and install ClamXav (a great, free anti-virus program). Set the preferences to automatically update preferences daily, set the ClamXav Sentry to launch on login, and set a Quarantine folder (explore all of the options, but these are the key items). Be sure to add the folders you think you need to scan (like Mail download folders, or the general Downloads folders, or even the entire HDD).

Then show your brain-dead Windows-NT-loving PepsiMax drinkin' PlayStation obsessed IT dweebs that your Mac is now protected, and tell them to remove whatever restriction they've put in place to block your machine.

I used to say that you should confront such people with facts, evidence, etc., but they're kind of like Tea Partiers. Reality doesn't square with their worldview, so it's better to just go around 'em (as legally as possible).

Good luck...
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomommago View Post
Hi all,

My network at work has banned my MacBook Pro from our network. Their reasoning is that it might be carrying an unknown virus, and so because it doesn't have their windoze virus protection program installed it's not allowed to play with the other computers. Is this valid? Is there a way I can get into the network in order to get internet access without them knowing it's me (our network is wired, and I think they've shut me out based on my ip... but I'm not really clear on how it works, they've just installed iBoss and I think that's what might have somehow tattled on me)?
Yes it is "valid" - it is their network, not yours. They get to make the rules - even silly ones. They are responsible for maintaining the network - they have (mistakenly I agree) decided that adding a Mac to the mix is a vulnerability. Your Mac could (though it is unlikely) transport malicious code (that would not affect it in the slightest) which could then get distributed to others on the network (same as if you brought it in on a big, expensive, designed in California USB key.)

Installing ClamAV (which I also agree with) may not (and legitimately NOT) be enough for them - because it is not the same as what they have chosen to protect the rest of the network (unless they've chosen ClamAV for Windows and they're installing the updates in sync with your configuration).

Getting around their security attempts by MAC address spoofing isn't a good idea - especially if your workplace has any kind of Acceptable Use Policy (did you have to sign anything when you started there?). If you have one of those disabling or evading a security measure could easily be grounds for dismissal or discipline - remember - it is not your network.

I would suggest reading up on iBoss (if that is the product being used) a quick glance at what I'm guessing is their web page would indicate that there are several ways that surfing with a Mac could get detected by this, and MAC address spoofing won't avoid all of them. This was the first time I've heard of iBoss - it appears to have won some awards from education groups for "'protecting" schools/small businesses. Your apparent lack of familiarity with the technology does not bode well for any kind of sustained "hack" in this situation - if you succeed in getting through this stuff the first time.

Networks/infrastructures are large complicated things - your IT people are just trying to keep their lives simple and their stuff functioning well (as well as it can anyway...) - the exact same way Apple does - but only supporting a small subset of hardware and software...

If you're desperate to surf - either use their machines, or walk to a coffee shop with your MBP. If work is insisting that you provide the machine - then you have a case (though you may have to take it to the executive, not to the IT Dept.) that you should be allowed to have your properly configured Mac on the network. You may find out that the executives are already talking on their iPhones and typing on their iPads and are quite willing to look at allowing Macs into the workplace.

Good luck, and be careful.
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #5
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I get the same attitude from
IT and administration, and I am a teacher in the school system. If the schools switched to Apple, the IT dept would be redundant, or much smaller at least. Rather than use the POS Lenovo thinkpad they provide, I just use my MacBook, tether it to my iPhone for Internet access ( up to 6 GB a month) and then I don't worry about limitations. Our school has a no-cellphone policy, but oh well. It's not a phone; it's a breakthrough internet device.
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjnmusic View Post
I get the same attitude from
IT and administration, and I am a teacher in the school system. If the schools switched to Apple, the IT dept would be redundant, or much smaller at least. Rather than use the POS Lenovo thinkpad they provide, I just use my MacBook, tether it to my iPhone for Internet access ( up to 6 GB a month) and then I don't worry about limitations. Our school has a no-cellphone policy, but oh well. It's not a phone; it's a breakthrough internet device.
Speaking as a member of the IT dept, no.
Eggman has it right, it's THEIR network. They have policies in place for a reason. Our particular policy involves NO personal machines on the network. Be it a windows, mac, or handheld device, if it isn't provided by us, it isn't networked.

If you're bringing in a personal machine, especially as a teacher, you're opening yourself up to a whole mess of worms. Virii are the least of your(or the IT dept) worries.

I doubt iBoss has anything to do with any blocking going on, as it's easy to find out what kind of computer is on your network by checking the DHCP server to get the MAC address, googling the MAC and finding out manufacture info. Or, they could have just seen the unauthorized computer on your desk while doing something else and decided to be non confrontational about it.

This attitude of the OP and the others supporting him are the reasons the kiddies think that (insert crazy website here) is so totally ok for school, and the schools are so (expletive) (derogatory term) for thinking we should be on it. This is like saying that it's OK to take money from a cash register because it's open, or because you know how to get it open. It's against the law, and at work/school, the policy is the law. (Just like Judge Dread.)

Despite what people here think, logic and reasoning are what make the best IT folk around. In this case, they have logically concluded that as they don't have admin rights to your machine to make sure all security patches are up to date and because they maybe don't have a OS X version of their chosen AV solution, that it is safer for all to no longer allow access.

fjn, I appreciate your resourcefulness as a fellow tech enthusiast, however I hope no one in your school/district's IT dept is on this site. Knowingly violating policy, publicly bragging about it, circumventing internet access policy... well it could be an outcome very unfortunate for your career.
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #7
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Old Oct 14th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nedry View Post
Wow.

Frankly, this entire thread should probably be nuked into a thousand glittery pieces. Circumventing corporate IT policy is not what Ehmac is about. This isn't a request for "help". It's a request for digital break & entering.

-DN
+9000 This.
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Old Oct 15th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjnmusic View Post
I get the same attitude from
IT and administration, and I am a teacher in the school system. If the schools switched to Apple, the IT dept would be redundant, or much smaller at least. Rather than use the POS Lenovo thinkpad they provide, I just use my MacBook, tether it to my iPhone for Internet access ( up to 6 GB a month) and then I don't worry about limitations. Our school has a no-cellphone policy, but oh well. It's not a phone; it's a breakthrough internet device.
I know several people who do similar things. People have got work to do, and they're sick of having the systems always locked down to the point of having to track down an IT person everything they need to change something, only to get nothing but grief from them anyway.

So they bring their own machines in, work on those, then transfer the files to the network with a USB drive. No regrets.
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Old Oct 15th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #10
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I can just see it - instead of a PC vs Mac thread this is becoming an IT vs User thread.

My company with 90 000 employees worldwise used to use Macs throughout except for some very specific production and development areas which were Unix at the time.
Everything went well, the location I was in had 2000 employees with one support person looking after the telephone system and the computers.
Then some VP decided to switch the whole company to PCs because of cost savings - supposedly. That was in the Windows 95 timeframe.
Productivity went out the Window, in my location they had to boost the IT staff to eight (!) (from essentially 1/2 a person with the Macs and those eight still couldn't handle all the trouble calls. It usually took half aday before they managed to come around to fix the Windows machines at the time, but what surprised me most (and the reason I'm posting this) is that the IT guys in out firm at least, had no clue how their users actually used the computers.
Simple example - I worked with MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and FTP access to a remote database all at the same time with the Macs.
When we switched to PCs at the time, one could not do this - the machines would constantly crash.
ITs solution was to close each application before opening a different one. For them that was "normal operation" - for us in Product Management that was just unacceptable - it would take us five times as long to do a job if we couldn't keep multiple applications open. Big conflict between IT and users.
I have no problem with IT controlling the network and deciding what can be connected and what cannot, but their lack of appreciation of the user requirements is sometimes shocking.
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