University of Michigan shuts down internet due to security concern

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Internet service at the University of Michigan was cut off by the university after a cybersecurity threat was detected on Monday, the first day of fall classes for many students.

“We recognize that cutting off online services to our campus community on the eve of a new academic year is stressful and a major inconvenience. We sincerely apologize for the disruption this has caused. Our Information Assurance team, in partnership with leading cybersecurity service providers, detects, deflects, and mitigates a steady stream of malicious actors every hour of every day.

Sunday afternoon, after careful evaluation of a significant security concern, we made the intentional decision to sever our ties to the internet. We took this action to provide our information technology teams the space required to address the issue in the safest possible manner.”

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The university said it may be several days before all online services return to normal activity. Here’s some info they offered for students:

  • It appears that the impact is not the same across the university or on all campuses. All clinical applications at Michigan Medicine are functional and no patient care has been disrupted.

  • Classes are meeting on all three campuses. Faculty members will, to the best of their abilities, communicate directly with students directly regarding any needed adjustments. Please check to view public course schedules and locations.
  • Campus leaders recognize that many students rely on U-M systems to access class information and navigate campus, especially on the first day of classes. Consideration will be given to students for impacts to class attendance or assignments that depend on U-M systems while our teams work to restore service.

  • Campus remains open. Residence halls, dining facilities, classroom buildings, and all university offices are operational. Individual units are making local decisions about where (on campus or remotely) employees are best able to fulfill their roles.

  • In recognition of the challenges faced during this outage, students will not incur late registration or disenrollment fees through the month of August.

  • While many students received an initial disbursement of financial aid funds, financial aid refunds may be delayed due to the system outage.

  • While the campus internet (wired and WiFi) is still down, cloud services such as Google, Canvas, Zoom, Adobe Cloud, Dropbox, Slack and other systems are now back online and reachable when using off-campus and cellular networks. Please note that cellular networks are currently under much greater stress than normal.

  • Certain campus systems, such as M-Pathways, eResearch, DART, remain unavailable at this time.

You can track updates from U-M here.

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