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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsWhat’s Happening with Internet at Dormitory 8 and Dubki

What’s Happening with Internet at Dormitory 8 and Dubki

Recently, the HSE student community has been disturbed by the news that from now on, authorization is required for wifi access at Dubki dormitory and Dormitory 8. Representatives of the Student Council met the staff of the Office of Information Technology and found out the details.

Andrey Shevtsov, Senior Director for Information Technology, Oleg Sherbakov, Director for Information Technology, and other staff of the IT Office addressed the questions and concerns from the students.

What happened?

Authorization with a personal login and password is now required to connect to wifi in the dorms. This new procedure for internet access has been active at Dormitory 8 since March 6, and since March 16 at Dubki.

Why authorization?

Previously, anyone could connect to wifi and download information without identification. This regularly led to overloading of communication lines, or illegal action carried out through HSE. The IT Office has repeatedly faced the problem of blocked HSE-owned IP addresses due to spam and DDoS attacks.

From now on, only dormitory residents, HSE students, will be able to use internet in dorms.

Does this mean that I’ll have to log in all the time?

Currently, the session duration is 8 hours. This means that you have to re-enter the login and password if you’ve been offline for over 8 hours. At the meeting, it was agreed that the authorization time will be extended to 24 hours. However, it should be taken into account that the number of IP addresses is limited and there may be a shortage of addresses (the longer the authorization life, the less free IP addresses there are). If students start complaining, the authorization period might be cut, for example, to 18 hours. In this case, if you go online in the morning and at night, authorization won’t be terminated, and there will be no need to re-enter the password.

What if I forget the password?

You can get a new login and password at your department’s study office.

What information can IT Office get after authorization?

The system automatically collects and stores the following data: login, type of connection, website address, time of connection, volume of information transferred, and session duration. This is a standard system of traffic recording, and any internet provider has a much more serious version of it. Only technical characteristics of the connection will be recorded. This means that the system is unable to get the details of the information transferred. All confidential information is unavailable for the IT Office and can’t be recorded. Credit card details, messages on forums and posts on social networks are all unavailable for the system. No one will be tracking the websites you visit.

Will the access to controversial and banned websites be blocked?

Providers block those websites that violate the law, according to the lists of websites regulated by the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, IT, and Mass Media. If an HSE student uses some tools to bypass this ban, this may harm the whole university’s reputation.

HSE provides online access primarily for educational and research opportunities. If you need certain information for your studies, you won’t have any problems.

In addition to that, access via access ports is limited for security and load optimization, including limited torrent and VPN traffic.

If you need more information on access to web resources, fill in a form requesting access to a certain website (address, port, protocol), and describe the reason with as much detail as possible (subject, lecturer, purpose of visit).

What if I visit a website that is on the list of banned websites nonetheless, will the police knock on my door right away?

If the website is on the list of banned websites, you probably won’t be able to visit it, which means that no one will come knocking on your door.

But if an illegal action attempt is made using your identity, such as a social network account hack, a spam mailout, or a DDoS attack, the IT Office will do everything to ensure it’s not a legal case, but instead to discontinue it by means of temporary disconnection. To avoid this scenario, make sure you don’t give your login and password to anyone, and if you lose it or have it stolen, inform the IT Office immediately.

Can all these innovations lead to worse internet connection?

This is unlikely. The connection will, instead, probably improve, since all unauthorized users will be disconnected, and the line will be used only by students.

Can I install my own modem in the dormitory?

There are no limitations for the use of your own modems in the dormitory, except that the equipment should be certified against the requirements of the Customs Union technical regulations. The list of most popular devices suitable for the use at HSE dormitories is available at the IT Office website. Please respect other users and don’t use any unauthorised equipment, as it could affect the operation of the HSE modems.

What is going to happen with internet access at dormitories?

Authorization will be introduced at all HSE dormitories, this is obligatory.

What can I do if I have problems with internet access at the dormitory?

Send a request for technical support via the form at dorm.hse.ru, via email at wifi@hse.ru, or via the dormitory director. The IT Office engineers will come (as they regularly do) to the dormitory, where they will meet the students, assist with their devices, and answer their questions.