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Amazon Web Services outage interrupts Canvas

The widely used learning management system Canvas produced errors and slow-loading pages Tuesday after a major Amazon Web Services outage. A slew of colleges and universities warned students and instructors of problems with Canvas on social media and directed users to an outage page on the AWS website. AWS, which offers cloud computing services to major companies like Netflix and Venmo, identified the problem behind the service interruption early Tuesday afternoon but did not have an estimated time for full recovery. Emily Bamforth has the details.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Michigan State ransomware attack demonstrated a need for IT collaboration, researchers say

A lack of communication between Michigan State University’s physics and astronomy department and the school’s central IT operation contributed to a 2020 ransomware attack that cost the university more than $1 million to recover from, according to recent research by a National Science Foundation-supported group. In the months since the ransomware incident, more academic departments, including physics, have consolidated with the central IT operation, Siu said. Running VPNs through the university’s main IT infrastructure and becoming part of its central active directory offer more uniform protections, including multi-factor authentication and restricted user access, he said. Emily has more.

Hackers invoke omicron variant in phishing scams targeted at universities

A malicious actor is attempting to steal credentials from people at U.S. universities, including Vanderbilt University and the University of Central Missouri, using phishing emails that invoke a newly identified strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to research published Tuesday by the security company Proofpoint. The emails reference the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which the World Health Organization identified as a “variant of concern” on Nov. 26 and has already been detected in several dozen countries, including the United States. Benjamin Freed has the story.

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