Help Centre

These pages are intended to inform you of the various resources that are available within the department as well as answer questions you may have about specific topics or tasks related to your studies here at Brock.

Due to the way in which the computing resources have evolved across the University, the Computer Science department maintains their own user accounts which are used to access the computers in our instructional labs (MCD205, MCJ301 and MCJ310). This means that if you are registered in an Applied Computing or Computer Science course you will have a user account on these systems which is maintained separately from your Brock portal ( account.

This account will share the same username as your other accounts across campus, but may have a different password (unless you work to ensure that they are the same). So when you are prompted to change your password on the Brock Portal, or in the public labs (your CAMPUS password) your Computer Science password will not be changed, and vice versa.

To reset the password for your Computer Science user account you can click here. The process takes 10-15 minutes for the new password to be active and requires that you are able to log into your Brock email account to finish the process.

Sandcastle is our main departmental server where students can access development tools and web development resources in a Linux environment. It also houses the files which are stored on your Z: drive in the Computer Science Windows labs. You can find more information on accessing and using Sandcastle here.

This page contains instructions on how to safely connect to the various services within the Computer Science department at Brock University. As our normal way of life is evolving to include 24/7 access to most things through network applications there has also been a lot of progress made in utilities to try to intercept network information. For this reason you are urged to seriously consider the following guidelines when connecting to our resources in order to ensure that your login information is safe. If you have specific questions please feel free to contact us.

COSC Certificates

Most of our network services (, use certificates to encrypt the information being passed across the network. It is important, any time you are sending your password across the network, to verify the certificate on the machine you are connecting to. The following information can be used to verify the integrity of the certificates that we use for our servers. If, at any time, you are prompted about the certificates being erroneous there is likely someone tampering with the connection in which case you should reject the certificate unless you can verify the MD5 or SHA fingerprints as listed below. We also use some certificates signed by our own certificate authority (eg:, if you are using one of the services you will need to download and install/import the (Link to root certificate (you may have to import it into your browser or OS depending on the combination of the two). It is critical when importing a trusted root certificate that you verify it’s integrity by ensuring that the Fingerprints match those posted here (Note: Microsoft software seems to reference them as thumbprints), if you don’t understand what you are doing do not import the certificate.

Certificate for (Administration scripts and CMS login)
MD5 Fingerprint: 02:4C:55:24:96:BA:A8:7E:1D:1E:42:2D:B7:30:FF:07
SHA1 Fingerprint: 27:61:C8:6A:0F:22:2C:1F:E2:5F:9D:68:FA:36:C8:3D:24:DF:14:26

Certificate for (POP, IMAP, SMTP)
MD5 Fingerprint: 33:47:89:52:2A:08:81:AF:59:DE:FF:34:73:0D:FB:00
SHA1 Fingerprint: 1E:17:01:6B:E2:03:23:9F:53:CE:18:53:19:5E:B4:FC:9B:B9:92:BB

Certificate for (local certificate authority)
MD5 Fingerprint: 7F:A4:8E:01:F4:9E:F1:E3:C9:09:C7:D3:35:0D:F5:93
SHA1 Fingerprint: BB:80:A3:05:A5:83:4F:69:B6:14:15:F5:94:A8:72:C4:EC:97:6A:80

Encrypted services currently available on Sandcastle

  • SSH/SFTP – port 22 can be used instead of telnet and FTP

SSH (Shell and File Access)

SSH is a protocol which allows network connections to be made with a server. It typically is used for shell access to network servers but is often used to tunnel other protocols such as FTP. In our labs we use PuTTY on Windows for making SSH connections, Linux and Mac OS X have built in clients.

It is very important to verify the fingerprint of the server key that you are connecting to; Sandcastle’s key fingerprint is listed below. You will also find that client software will cache this key information after you accept it and if the key information ever changes the client will issue a warning. It is very important to react properly to those warnings!

Sandcastle SSH2 ED25519 Key
MD5 Fingerprint: 36:e4:67:d3:50:8f:5a:d4:71:09:f3:45:38:71:e7:2b
SHA256 Fingerprint: LEUqs5FpeGsM+C+g27czuTZZ7+kaARitb4LDgfrht3E

Sandcastle SSH2 ECDSA Key
MD5 Fingerprint: 58:fd:79:73:8b:ef:fc:c4:f0:2a:33:09:79:6f:25:77
SHA256 Fingerprint: 68pS9WhcJf1AUmBbhrbVGKYvu+0lOWS8tMy3hwRCw/M

Sandcastle SSH2 RSA Key
MD5 Fingerprint: 10:76:c9:0e:1b:5d:bb:1c:37:15:65:a2:78:a0:d7:21
SHA256 Fingerprint: YV4QfF/CAo1hTchQF5SqSpVXziM/JGE/c1W8E77J9tc

Notice that this changed August 15, 2019.

File transfers

In the summer of 2017 the FTP service on Sandcastle was disabled due to firewall policies governed by the University. In order to access files from your Sandcastle account, you will need to use an FTP client with the capability of connecting to SFTP (FTP over SSH).

As of September 2016 all the Computer Science / Applied Computing lab printing has been migrated to the Brock’s central printing system. For lab printing costs please refer to the printing information for the Brock ITS labs.

Computer Science has three main computing labs for our course offerings, they are MCJ301, MCJ310 and MCD205. Here is a list of the software that you can find available in these labs:

MCJ301Dr. Java
Java SE (JDK 1.8.0)
Microsoft Office 2016
MCJ310Java SE (JDK 1.8.0)
JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA
JetBrains PyCharm IDE
Microsoft Office 2016
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017
NetBeans 8.2
Python 3.6
MCD205Android Studio
Dr. Java
Haskell 8.4.3
Java SE (JDK 1.8.0)
JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA
JetBrains PyCharm IDE
Microsoft Office 2016
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017
NetBeans 8.2
Python 3.6

This information is current as of September 2018.

What is Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching (formally Microsoft Imagine Premium)?

Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teachine is a subscription based program, paid for by the Computer Science department, which offers access to an extensive library of software for development purposes. It entitles the department to offer Microsoft development products to their students at a reduced rate, often times for free. In order for a student to be eligible for this program you must be enrolled in at least one full credit of Computer Science courses in the current school year (Note: the program for each year is set up in early October and runs until June 30th, at which time all accounts are deactivated until the next school year). The software is provided for the purpose of software development for learning or research. It cannot be used for commercial purposes and it is not free software for all your computing needs at home and for your friends. The licenses are non-transferrable, so if you install the software on your computer it is only a legal copy while you own that computer. Please understand that due to the fact this program saves the department a considerable amount of money in lab software costs, administration of the distribution of this software is strict

For more information on the program from Microsoft’s perspective please see their website.

How do I access the Premium content?

Microsoft Imagine Premium is hosted separately from the Microsoft Imagine Standard site so the accounts (even if they share the same email address) are separate and apart from each other. Also, there is a separate Microsoft Imagine Premium site for each department which is involved so if you had access to it from other institutions or departments your old accounts will not work in accessing this site.

First time users will need to register with their email address on the site.

Revised: Sept 2014.