Network interruptions caused by unpatched student computer

Melissa Weigel

On Sunday, Feb. 13, many students on the University network experienced interruptions in their internet service and had difficulty accessing the Internet. According to Robin Allen, the assistant director for User Support Services at the University Information Technologies department (UNIT), “A PC on the network was unpatched; someone used it to get into the network.”

None of the core systems on the network, such as Banner and Novasis, were affected.

When the problem was identified, the PC was immediately removed from the network.

“We then worked with the individuals to get the PC up to the appropriate levels with patches,” Allen said. Patches make PCs more secure by protecting against hackers and viruses. By Monday afternoon, UNIT restored complete network services.

“This wasn’t the first time I’ve had disruptions while trying to do work. It seems like whenever I buckle down to get work done, this happens,” senior Julie Psota said. “I wish that UNIT would at least let us know what happened and why it happened so that I can plan better or at least understand who or what is responsible.”

On the following Monday, some students may have experienced problems with their University e-mail accounts; however, the problem was unrelated to the network problems.

“I didn’t think it was big deal,” junior Chris Fischer said. “I just used my Yahoo! mail [account].”