LU internet problems continue

By Rosalind Russell – Laurentian University is considering condensing its exam period to give students more time to complete coursework this semester, given the ongoing IT outages at the university since a “cyber incident” that began on February 18th.

Senior leaders with the university made this revelation at a March 1 Zoom town hall meeting for students and a second one with employees later the same day.

With many students voicing concerns that the term might be extended, thus incurring extra costs for them, or other unintended consequences, interim provost Brenda Brouwer said the university does not wish to extend the term, but rather condense it so students have more time to complete their courses. 

A special meeting of Laurentian University’s senate has been called for today during where decisions will be made.

In terms of where Laurentian is at with restoring IT services, as of the afternoon of March 1, access to cloud-based services such as Gmail, Zoom and D2L (the program used by LU for teaching and course materials) had been restored.

Before logging in, users are required to reset their passwords.

The cyber incident has also meant Wi-Fi is still down on campus, and the university’s website is mostly down, displaying only information related to the ongoing IT outages and their impacts on the university community. 

Ben Demianiuk, Laurentian’s director of business and development, said during the Zoom meeting temporary Wi-Fi access has been installed in certain parts of its residence including several hot spots.

Laurentian is also in the process of installing a security program called Sentinel One on its employees’ devices, but students were told they did not have to worry about this unless they are also employees themselves.

In terms of the cyber incident, LU general counsel Céleste Boyer said the university continues to work with a team of outside experts “to contain the incident to an end to make sure that our networks are safe.

“We also have external experts assisting us on determining how this happened, and who may be impacted by this incident,” she said.

“Investigations of this sort are quite lengthy, so we understand your frustration, but we certainly appreciate your patience to allow our experts the time to properly assess this incident.”

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