University officials explain Facebook outage, dispells rumors

Kelly Metz and Kelly Metz

The University Information Technology Services received several complaints yesterday from on-campus students because Facebook and other unconfirmed Web sites were blocked on the campus server

The University sent out a campus update e-mail today at 11:23 a.m. explaining the reason for the block and apologizing for any inconvenience the shut down had caused. The update stated the outages were fully restored by 10:45 last night.

Marketing and Communications Director Dave Kielmeyer said the server errors were caused by a denial of service attack from Minnesota, which means someone or something was trying to hack into the University’s server from an outside source.

Outages were reported occuring from 3:15 to 3:30 p.m. and a second outage occuring from 9:30 to 10:45 p.m., Kielmeyer said. The second outage caused most of the complaints, he said.

The server’s firewall temporarily blocked some Web sites from on-campus connections while problems were being solved by ITS security professionals, Kielmeyer said. Off-campus students did not have any problems accessing the Web sites.

Kielmeyer also dispelled any rumors, stating the University did not shut down Facebook yesterday because of an ongoing student petition against the Stroh Center, the $36 million basketball arena slated to be complete by 2011 or 2012.

‘That’s just silly. It was just a computer glitch that happens occasionally and was an odd coincidence at best,’ he said regarding the rumor.

Several student’s called ITS and other Web management agencies on campus to voice their concerns about the block of the popular networking site, but Kielmeyer assured the problems have been fixed.

He said Google was also down, but student’s were not complaining about their homework.’ ‘They couldn’t get Facebook, the world was ending,’ Kielmeyer said.