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Doran stands next to the university's extensive server network.
the Gauntlet

AirUC infected, IT docs come to rescue

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Last week, a number of students had trouble logging onto the AirUC wireless network.

The problems were at their worst Tuesday and Wednesday, but have since been fixed, said Network Services manager Doug Doran.

A Trojan DACP, a type of computer virus, infected computers and used them to send out fake IP addresses.

All computers joining the network receive an IP address to let the network identify them. Computers that received fake IP addresses were unable to log onto the AirUC network. The IT staff isolated the infected computers.

"Part of our problem is that we need to allow machines on AirUC to talk to each other for things like file sharing or a lot of people use it for gaming," said Doran. "If we block that access, it limits their functionality, but by allowing that type of access, it exposed us to this problem. We've [now] figured out how to contain it."

The second problem was that the Trojan DACP triggered a bug in the software that made all of AirUC's system access points reboot repeatedly. The bug was responsible for most login problems, said Doran.

"We did an emergency software upgrade to our controller system and that got rid of the bug," he said.

Lorelei Wong, a third-year business student, had problems connecting to the Internet last week. She was supposed to be writing an online quiz, but couldn't access the link.

Doran said that other bugs do cause issues with the AirUC system.

"One of the biggest problems for us is that we don't get many complaints, although our intuition is that there are more problems than people are submitting trouble tickets," said Doran.

When people report problems, it allows the IT department to troubleshoot their connection issues and can help prevent future incidents, he explained.

AirUC is adopting a new wireless management system this month, which will enable the network to track when and where problems occur and help explain why.

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