RPI takes down servers in response to cyberattack

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 7. The Polytechnic’s website is hosted on Rensselaer servers, which were recently restored.

Earlier this morning, Rensselaer servers were shut down in response to a cyberattack leaving many students unable to access LMS course materials, contact professors through email, take their final examinations, or submit final projects.

The servers on-campus also host Submitty, an open-source course management platform developed and maintained by the Department of Computer Science, and The Polytechnic’s website.

An announcement in the RPI Academic Discord server was made at 11:52 am ET by Gabriel Jacoby-Cooper ’24 stating that “The campus Internet connection is completely dead right now. This includes the campus Wi-Fi and ethernet connections, in addition to all of the on-campus websites such as email, LMS, DIAL, Submitty, and basically everything else. Your professors aren’t able to receive email right now because of that as well. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the network will be restored.”

At 5:39 pm, a post on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Facebook page stated that “Rensselaer is investigating a trespass into our university network. We have temporarily suspended access to the network, as we work with law-enforcement and cybersecurity experts to determine the extent of the trespass.”

The post elaborated that “Accommodations will be provided to any student with online exams impacted by the suspended access to the network. Those affected will receive specific information from the Office of the Provost and/or the Academic Deans.”

This statement was communicated throughout the Rensselaer community through RPI Alert, a service that disseminates public safety information through text messaging and email notifications.