The University of Michigan was grappling with a second day without internet Tuesday, a situation one expert called “highly unusual” as UM and federal officials continued to investigate a cybersecurity threat that led to the disturbance.
A “significant security issue” prompted the state’s largest university to cut its Internet server on Sunday, leading to an Internet outage for students at its Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses on the first day of commencement fall classes Monday. UM’s Flint campus was largely unaffected.
UM Regent Paul Brown, a venture capitalist who invests in cutting-edge technologies often including security technologies, said the regents were given only a brief overview of what had happened. pass.
“This was a targeted attack on our institution,” Brown said. “When it comes to IT security, it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when’. »
UM has invested significantly in information security with world-class resources and experts, Brown added.
“It’s one of our biggest priorities,” Brown said. “Our operations rely heavily on IT, both in education and healthcare. These operations must be conducted securely because of the information and data we possess.
“Our top priority is the security of the institution’s information and operations,” Brown continued. “I know our administration is working day and night to achieve both of these goals.”
UM Information and Technology Services reported progress Tuesday afternoon in restoring services after President Santa Ono sent a letter to the campus community thanking everyone for their patience while the university is working to resolve the situation.
“Our IT services teams, in collaboration with leading cybersecurity service providers, are working around the clock to resolve this disruption and I want to personally thank them for their dedication to this critical effort. » Ono wrote. “Investigative work on the safety issue continues. As noted in Monday’s message to the community, our UM Division of Public Safety and Security and our law enforcement partners Federal are involved in this investigation. …While we will continue to share as much information as possible, as this work progresses, we are unable to share any information that could compromise the investigation.
Avi Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University, called UM’s decision “highly unusual.”
“I’ve never heard of a major university being this offline,” said Rubin, technical director of the JHU Information Security Institute. “It looks like it’s very serious.”
But Rubin, a UM alumnus who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in computer science, said UM has a “very highly skilled” information and technology team. He said he was confident the team had made carefully considered decisions and would restore the university’s internet as soon as possible.
“I am confident that the university will recover quickly with as little damage as possible,” Rubin said.
The university’s Computer and Technology Services posted an update Tuesday afternoon on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying that “our team has made significant progress over the past 24 hours.”
“All students, faculty and staff can now log into their UM accounts and access http://umich.edu when using off-campus or cellular networks,” says the update. “Off-campus/cellular network access has also been restored to cloud-based services such as Google products, Canvas, Adobe Creative Suite, Zoom, Wolverine Access, Dropbox, Slack, Duo, Wolverine Access, etc.
Crews worked around the clock to resolve the issue at UM, Ono said in his statement. On Monday, UM reported that some cloud services were back online and could be accessed via cellular or off-campus networks. But it could take a few days before all connectivity returns to normal, officials said.
Clinical applications at Michigan Medicine, UM’s hospital system, are working, officials said, and patient care has not been disrupted..