This article explains why myUMBC was very slow on Thursday. We normally have about 750 to 1000 people logged into myUMBC at any one time during the daytime. We are running close to double that and it is slowing things down. The reason for the high demand is because OIT sent out an alert to people to warn them of the daly attempts via email that are occurring to get people to give up their username and password (called phishing).
Late this morning we sent out the alert, which I authorized, warning people and we experienced a surge of people trying to sign on to myUMBC that has slowed the system down. The system will probably remain slow this afternoon as people sign in and check the alert and then sign off.
We sent an alert because we have seen a half-dozen people each day sending in their username and password to these messages. We then see those accounts used to send massive amounts of spam out onto the internet, which caused sites to block all mail from UMBC. We worried that new students are likely to respond to this kind of attack and the resulting problems this would cause. As a result, we tried using a channel other than email to notify the campus and learned a lesson.
We have new hardware for myUMBC that should dramatically expand the load; however we got the hardware in late this summer and didn't want to rush putting it into production. In mid-September that will go in and should be able to handle loads this high.
We apologize for the inconvenence this caused.
Jack Suess, VP of IT