Technical Staff Blog

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The Brown campus is currently experiencing some major network problems this morning (Wednesday, June 24th). One effect is that people outside of the CS department have been unable to reach our website and people inside the department are unable to reach websites other than ours.

As far as we can tell the problem has nothing to do with our systems; other departments are reporting similar issues.

Stay tuned for further information.

UPDATE (8:37pm): The issue was definitely outside the CS network. It appears to have been either at the CIS border router, the connection with OSHEAN (Brown's ISP), or some equipment in OSHEAN. It only appears to have affected some of the CIS networks, for instance wireless connections were unaffected, and CIS is not yet sure why this was the case. For a while, we thought it might have been caused by a distributed denial of service attack or rather a distributed scan. I call it a distributed scan because the affect on the network was actually minimal and was mitigated fine by firewalls. Howver, the scan started well before the outage and continued well after the outage ceased. In fact, the scan is still continuing right now at 8:30pm and has so far includes over 20,000 unique hosts. CIS is still investigating the root cause and we will report back if anything turns up.

UPDATE (2:30pm, June 25): Just got off a call with CIS. They still have no explanation for the network outage yesterday morning. They are continuing to try and figure out what happened, but with very little evidence as to the root cause, it could be challenge to conclude anything for certain.