University’s network provider subject of cyber hack

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Nathan Stilwell
News Editor

SuperJANET, the service responsible for running many of the UK’s academic and government network domains, is offline following a Distributed Denial of Service cyber attack.

Many of the University of Glasgow’s network services, including the Eduroam Wifi, MyCampus and the work submission services Ukurnd and Turnitin, are currently facing extensive network issues.

JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), the company responsible for JANET, released a statement on Facebook at 4.40pm, saying: “We have been experiencing a targeted and sustained set of attacks on the Janet network. These are distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have resulted in reduced connectivity and disruption for all Janet customers.”

JISC are currently monitoring the problem and are unable at this time to say when network services will return to normal, but have stated that some services will start to appear again for users.

A spokesperson for the University told The Glasgow Guardian: “We would like to apologise for internet and computer issues that have been experienced across the day. This was not due to any attack on our systems, but because of problems experienced by the SuperJANET network. The SuperJanet network (Joint Academic Network) provides network access to all FE and HE institutions across the UK, operated by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee).”

“Eduroam/Wi-Fi is a JISC service and academic visitors will have experienced access problems. UofG Eduroam/Wi-Fi users on campus should not have been affected but certain Internet sites might have been unavailable for a short time and may have given the impression that Eduroam/Wi-Fi was not working. The current issues mean that plagiarism services such as Turnitin and Urkund (including Urkund access through Moodle) may be unavailable. Student submissions made through Moodle will be submitted to Urkund once the issues are resolved, but there may be a delay in reports being generated due to any backlog that may have built up.

“IT Services have implemented local measures to address the problems.”

The University’s network services began to experience problems early this morning. This afternoon, the University IT helpdesk, Spotlight, stated: “There are still currently issues with JANET, which provides network access to Universities across the UK; as a result, certain sites may be unavailable and internet access may be slow. There has been some improvement but services are still at risk. JANET specialists are continuing to investigate and are working to restore normal service as soon as possible.”
JISC tweeted at 12.41pm “”#TT169600 – Still ongoing. It is affecting most services. Due to the nature of the outage we cannot give an ETA on restoration.” #TT169600 is the hashtag used to monitor the current situation.

At the time of publication, the JANET network website is also out of action.