Internet connections at UK universities knocked out

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Manchester University in the snow.UK universities are struggling to connect to the internet following a targeted cyber attack on a nationwide education network.

The University of Manchester said on Tuesday its internet connection had been knocked out this morning following what local media outlet Mancunion described as a “persistent” DDoS [distributed denial of service] attack on the publicly-funded Janet network, which connects British universities to the internet.

A DDoS attack works by overwhelming a website with traffic, often sent from a “botnet” of hijacked computers controlled by the attacker. This sudden flood of traffic can prevent legitimate visitors from accessing the website under attack, and can even overwhelm and crash the site’s servers, taking it totally offline.

“The Janet network is experiencing issues again this morning affecting a number of educational institutions including us,” said the University of Manchester’s IT services department. “We’ll keep you updated.”

The Janet network is provided by government-funded Jisc (Joint Information Systems Committee), which has been tweeting about the attacks this morning from the Jisc Major Incidents Twitter account.
#TT16900 – A denial of service has been identified. Engineers and security teams are working resolve the issue.
– Jisc Major Incidents (@jiscmi) December 8, 2015 Students on deadline also took to Twitter to complain that the lack of internet was preventing them from completing and handing in their essays and assignments.

Great, so the whole JANET network has been DDOSed right before exams meaning internet is down for all universities.
– Tom Garnett (@TommGarnett) December 8, 2015 Is all this #janet #JISC over? I have a supervision deadline today!
– Miranda Garrett (@Mirandikles) December 8, 2015 Whoevers doing the DDOS attack on @Jisc all you’re doing is messing up student exams and coursework handins. Idiots.
– James Todd (@JamesGTodd) December 8, 2015 NOW WATCH: How to access the addictive hidden Facebook game that’s driving the internet insane

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