Several students and staff experienced problems with the Internet at the University of Manitoba over the past week.
This caused serious difficulties for students and staff who depend on Internet usage for doing homework and teaching classes.
Marvin Kocay, acting director of the Information Services and Technology department, stated that there have been problems with both email and with general website browsing that have put strain on the servers, making the system at the university slower.
Kocay explained that this was because the university’s Internet service provider is experiencing problems.
“We’re still trying to diagnose the problem with our local systems,” said Kocay.
IST Computer and Network Services are investigating the issue and are looking to correct it as quickly as possible.
The JUMP and Angel systems have not been working correctly due to two U of M computer accounts being hacked and then spam being sent from those computers throughout the system.
“Because this spam came from the University of Manitoba domain, we were blacklisted by Internet service providers,” explained Kocay.
“Staff in IST worked very hard to shut down the spamming computers and then to re-establish our domain with the many service providers.”
With the onging problems many students are finding it difficult to complete work.
Estella Marmah, a student at U of M, said that she found it extremely difficult to get references for her essay when the Internet was down, which forced her to insert references from her textbook because there was nothing else she could do.
“[ . . . ] In one of my classes [ . . . ] the professor wanted two references and they had to be from a journal and no one in my class could get it.”
Some professors and teaching staff, who depend on the Internet to converse with students as well as to assist them in teaching their classes, experienced problems as well.
Ben Meek, a teaching assistant for the department of psychology, felt that having the Internet up and running on campus was essential.
“We’re all so reliant on the Internet on campus [ . . . ] that when it does go down it has a lot of ramifications, so it’s definitely important that it be working properly,” said Meek.
According to Kocay, these problems should be resolved soon.
“We have a number of people investigating our servers, network configuration and firewall settings to determine if there are internal problems contributing to this,” said Kocay.