Georgetown’s University Information Services announced the full removal of the HOYAS WiFi network on Wednesday due to its lack of proper security controls, according to Chief Information Officer Lisa Davis. SaxaNet and GuestNet, which are both safer from “compromised computers,” are now the primary WiFi services for students.
“HOYAS was an unsecured wireless network that the whole school used to use,” said Tech Center Special Projects Coordinator Kevin Perlow. “Basically, the biggest issue was that you could intercept wireless traffic using Firesheep or Wireshark and that just isn’t good.” These two “packet-sniffing” programs can capture information, such as logins and passwords.
Davis said the removal is part of the Fast Deployment Wireless project, which replaced over 300 “first-generation wireless radios” in 19 buildings this summer to improve wireless security and performance. SaxaNet encrypts all traffic (meaning it conceals data). GuestNet, while it is unsecure, is not open like HOYAS, which permitted “outbound access,” which allows compromised computers to “attack” others, Davis said.
On August 12, all student and faculty Hoyamail accounts will transition to adopt Google Apps. William R. Anderson, Associate Director of University Information Services, announced this information to the student body on Thursday in an email. Hoyamail is currently run through Gmail which was set up in the spring semester of 2009 . However, faculty and the members of the McDonough School of Business did not take part in this transition, with faculty using GU Mail and MSB adopting Google Apps.
The new change will allow every student at Georgetown as well as all faculty and staff to use the same service. This has been advertised as one of the biggest advantages of the transition as it will allow for easier collaboration between students and faculty.
“With our 4,000 faculty and staff now using Google Apps as well, we are excited to see the innovative uses the whole campus will find for collaboration, enhancing the education experience, and becoming more productive across campus,” Chief Information Officer Lisa Daviswrote in a blog post.
Earlier today, Georgetown students noticed that attempts to access many of the University’s websites, including such necessities as Blackboard and Hoyamail, were met with an error screen. According to an email sent by Beth Ann Bergsmark, the Senior Director of Academic and Information Technology Services, earlier this evening, the glitch was caused by “an unexpected network disruption” that lasted from approximately 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. After 6, University Information Services began to slowly but surely get its websites working again, and all were restored over the following three hours.
Below is the full text of the email:
Dear faculty, staff, and students,
This afternoon at 4:45 PM there was an unexpected network disruption affecting service to our data center that lasted until 6:00 PM. This caused Georgetown services, such as GUMail, Hoyamail, GUCalendar, departmental websites, and other services to be temporarily unavailable. UIS was able to restore services beginning at 6:00 PM with all enterprise applications being verified by 9:00 PM. We are going to continue to monitor the situation to prevent or mitigate a recurrence.
I apologize for the disruption. I encourage you to contact the UIS Help Desk at 202-687-4949 whenever you notice a disruption in service.
Beth Ann Bergsmark
Senior Director, AITS
University Information Services
Although Blackboard was frustratingly one of the last sites to be restored, it is a little disappointing that it came back so early—makes pulling the “UIS ate my homework” excuse that much trickier.
Wednesday, October 12, Georgetown’s Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Augostini held the first “Hoya Roundtable” to ask students how Georgetown could best serve them.
New to the job, Augostini started the meeting by saying, ”The best way for me to orient my self to the issues to the student body was simply to ask you.”
There were only about ten or so student in attendance who were not affiliated with the Roundtables innitiative, and they were vastly outnumbered by administrators and staff who packed the room. Luckily, the Google Moderator questions ensured that the most pressing issues were addressed–well, they were at least mentioned.
They have ordered the antennae to give wireless for Copley lawn, and they should arrive in about 45 days. Similar wireless for Healy lawn are due to be installed next spring.
Faculty and staff and being moved to Google mail, so they will have full access to apps like Google Calendar, Docs, etc.
They are looking into programs like lecture capture and additional printing locations
They are planning on changing printing to five cents per page. Murphy admitted that the cost was arbitrary and mainly intended to discourage students from printing “hundreds of thousands” of pages.
Work orders: annually, facilities gets 40,000-50,000 work orders, and they received around 2-3,000 work orders per week during the first month of school. They are looking into buying a new computer system to manage the number of orders.
Facilities also addressed the state of some of the rest rooms on campus. They were in stark disagreement with one student in the audience about the state of women’s restrooms in the ICC.
Yesterday, University Information Services announced by email that Saxanet, a new, more secure campus wireless network, would be installed in various buildings throughout campus beginning in July and August.
According to the message, Saxanet will require students to log in with their NetID and password upon their first connection, and will provide encryption to help protect against “eavesdropping and possible data theft.”
But don’t fret, lovers of Georgetown’s former wireless network—HOYAS isn’t disappearing forever. UIS has already installed Saxanet in Harris, and throughout the summer the connection will become available in Hariri, ICC, Old North, Harbin, Village C, Darnall, LXR, Walsh, Basic Science, Lauinger, Car Barn, Copley, Alumni Square, Henle, Village A, and Nevils. For the rest of the buildings, at least for the time being, computers will still be able to connect to the older, HOYAS Internet connection.
In the same email, UIS also announced Georgetown’s new participation in the Eduroam service. Eduroam (a portmanteau of “education” and “roaming.” Yeah, it took us a minute, too.) allows students to use their NetID to access wireless Internet at other participating universities, of which there are 19 total in the United States.
According to UIS Associate Director Donna DeLay, Copley Hall will have wireless access come Mar. 11.
“University Information Services will be upgrading the data network and activating wireless internet services in Copley Hall on Friday, March 11th between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” she wrote in an email to Copley residents. “Once the installation is complete, the wireless internet service will be available for your use.”
While Vox doesn’t have any updates about any other dorms—notably, Alumni Square, Darnall Hall, Harbin Hall, Henle Village, LXR, Nevils, Village A, and Village C—we’re waiting to hear from UIS about wireless infrastructure status across campus.
Get excited, everybody. Campus tours don’t have to lie anymore!
This past week students in on campus residence halls and apartments received an email from University Information Systems concerning wireless internet in these locations.
Specifically, it’s coming! Henleans and Harbinites (and everyone else), rejoice!
The email states that the wiring process has begun and that workers will need to enter dorms, which they will do on weekdays from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., so as to cause as little of a disturbance as possible for students.
The wireless installation is expected to be completed by the end of the semester.
Full email text below:
University Information Services workers have begun cabling in the residence halls to help facilitate the installation of wireless internet service in the residential facilities. As this installation work progresses, workers will need to enter rooms and apartments coordinating access through the Housing office. We have scheduled the work to take place during the weekday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., to avoid disrupting your early morning, evening and weekend hours. The schedule for finalizing when wireless will be available in your residence hall will be determined by when required work related to installing additional power is complete. UIS will notify you two weeks before your hall’s wireless service is activated and inform you of the scheduled outage necessary to activate the wireless service. We anticipate that this work will conclude by the end of the academic year.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as University Information
Services, University Facilities and Student Housing continue to work towards bringing wireless internet service to the residential facilities.
“We have worked with many members of the university community for more than a year to develop the structure, content and technical infrastructure to support the new site,” Julie Green Bataille, university vice president for communications, wrote in an email to students, faculty, and staff. “The new site provides navigational paths that reflect user behavior, multimedia content and ways for users to engage with Georgetown online more directly.”
The website features an interactive campus map, videos, and a footer bar customized for different audiences. However, pages specific to a school or department will not be affected by the transition, which will only apply to the website’s “top tier.”
University Information Services employees will begin the transition at 10 p.m.
Yesterday, Georgetown launched the beta version of its long-awaited, redesigned website.
As the University’s first redesign since 2002, the preview has a whole lot of new features, including navigation pathways for highly trafficked information and a footer bar that customizes links for students, faculty, alumni, and parents. It also includes videos, interactive campus maps, and a search function.
Earlier this semester, rumors on HoyaTalk suggested that the website would launch in late October or early November. According to University spokesperson Juile Green Bataille, the final product will “go live” on December 3.
“The structure, design and content of the new site reflect feedback from the Board of Directors, students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students and parents,” Bataille wrote in an email.
The long-awaited University website redesign is making strides toward finishing soon. Yet, its launch date is still unknown.
Rumors on HoyaTalk suggest that the site is scheduled to launch in late October or early November.
In an email to Vox, Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications, did not confirm those rumors, writing that there is no “specific launch date yet for the top tier site as [they] work through [UIS configuration] issues.”
Over the last few months, over 100 members of the Georgetown community—ranging from students and faculty to members of the board and prospective students—have tested the site to help shape its development.