Students were left without access to Turnitin today after the Janet network which provides The University of Nottingham’s (UoN) internet services was hit by a cyber attack.

Students with coursework deadlines were advised by the University to contact their Schools directly for further information.

Janet, a publicly funded computer network which provides many research institutions and educational bodies in the UK with network access, posted live updates on their Twitter as the attack unfolded.

However, it appears that the information on social media led to further problems, delaying any resolution.

“We suspect that those behind the DDOS attack are adjusting their point of attack based on our Twitter updates”

Janet’s ‘Major Incidents’ Twitter account informed followers: “We suspect that those behind the DDOS [Distributed Denial of Service] attack are adjusting their point of attack based on our Twitter updates”.

Janet is responsible for both the ac.uk and gov.uk domains, resulting in widespread connection problems for several UK universities, including the University of Manchester.

“Everyone has coursework to hand in at the moment and this adds even more pressure”

Larissa Rowan, a second year English student, told Impact: “I think it is really bad that so many academic institutions have been affected. Everyone has coursework to hand in at the moment and this adds even more pressure to the situtation”.

The access to external networks from within UoN has now been restored, with Janet reporting on Twitter that the East Midlands is “stabilising” and that they are continuing to monitor the situation.

Tamsin Parnell

Image: Marcelo Graciolli via Flickr

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