Your campus log-in probably looks a little different now

Starting this fall, some widely used services at UC Davis are switching their authentication modules--a mechanism that helps people get access to restricted applications and Web sites--from Distauth to the more reliable, secure, and faster CAS.

One difference most people will notice is that the log-in page--the mostly white screen that asks for your ID and password--looks a little different with CAS. Your campus Kerberos log-in ID and password will not change.

There will be one other change to the screen, although it's not caused by the switch from Distauth to CAS. Prompted by the phishing scams that have peppered UC Davis email users this year, the campus has added a new security notice to the log-in page in both Distauth and CAS. It reminds people to use their computing account log-in ID and password only when authenticating to campus Web sites and online services. It also says UC Davis will never ask anyone to confirm or verify their computing account by providing their password via telephone or email.

Several campus applications already use CAS, and all new applications developed in Information and Educational Technology (IET) will use it. This includes the debut of Gmail as the student campus email service, and the start of electronic phone bills from IET-Communications Resources, both due in October.

Other changes started Sept. 19, when IET switched the authentication module for the MyUCDavis Web portal and course-management tools to CAS. (Anyone who uses MyUCDavis to navigate to Geckomail and certain administrative applications, including Direct Deposit and MyTravel, might have to log-in twice until the authentication component for those services is switched to CAS.)

More changeovers from Distauth to CAS are planned in late September or early October for the UC Davis WarnMe emergency notice system and the campus online directory listings; and in November for MyInfoVault.

Eventually the Distauth modules will be retired, but they're widely used on campus, and a complete transition might take years. Owners of applications that use Distauth will set their own timelines. Until Distauth is gone, navigating between various UC Davis authenticated applications and Web sites will require dual log-ins, if you're going from one that uses CAS to one that uses Distauth, or vice versa.

If you have questions, contact the IT Express computing services help desk at (530) 754-HELP (4357). If you're interested in moving a Distauth-protected service to CAS, please contact Hampton Sublett at