Uni WiFi is down after cyber attack

Hackers send library services into meltdown

National academic network services have been hacked, leaving Sussex’s wifi down.

Students have been unable to access their printing and email accounts today, as well as many of the library’s online functions.

Library staff have confirmed that the technology meltdown has two causes. Firstly, local servers are experiencing technical difficulties, and secondly, national academic network servers are being hacked. Janet, the computer network which the university uses, has experienced a Denial of Service attack, a kind of attack often carried out by criminals. The source of the hacking is unknown at present.

This cyber-attack means that many universities across the country are thought to be victims of the current hackings, and that hundreds of university computer systems across the UK could potentially be malfunctioning.

Library search functions, email, file access, and checking books in and out of the library are all functions which have been compromised today. In addition to this, students are unable to use many printers and photocopiers as these are connected to the network and require login to be used. Students who have deadlines today will no doubt be hindered.

Wifi is running, but is slower than usual and some areas on campus which usually have coverage are internet-free zones today.

The G-drives, where documents and other files are stored, have recently come back online, but staff can not confirm a time when all services will be back online.

One member of library staff said: “As a student, you just wouldn’t expect the technology to go down like this any time near your deadline. It will be a challenge for staff and students alike today.”

One third-year student said: “It’s a pain, I go home for Christmas in a few days and hoped to spend a lot of time in the library. This has ruined my whole plan for the day.”

The University of Sussex has released a statement on current IT problems, telling students that: “IT Services are sorry for the inconvenience these issues are causing and are working to restore services as soon as they can. They will give more information on an ongoing basis during the day.”

UPDATE: Professor Claire Mackie,  Deputy Vice Chancellor, has said: “As this is week 12 it is not possible to reschedule any of today’s interrupted teaching sessions and I would ask academic colleagues to ensure that the materials are made available to students in Study Direct.

In terms of assessment deadlines, I would ask all students to continue to work toward published deadlines which allow for late submission of up to one week.

I will keep the situation under review. If there is any further disruption that may impact on assessment I will remove penalties or if necessary reset deadlines to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by the outage.

I am receiving regular updates from ITS colleagues and I am keeping the situation under review and will provide daily updates.”