[eDebate] Fw: Computer Access CEDA - IMPORTANT!!!! Deadline March 1.

Martin Harris mharris02
Sat Feb 28 03:12:24 CST 2009


   Andy, wtf man? I HIGHLY doubt this is Sarah's policy. A NUMBER of
schools use MAC address registration as a prerequisite to network
access. Due to the ability to spoof MAC addresses, it isn't the best
security restriction, but as a part of a layered security policy, it can
greatly enhance network security. It allows the IT department to provide
a check against random people from just plugging into a network. Some
ISPs also require it as a layer of security to prevent people from
jumping onto a unprotected network to send spam, death threats, viruses,
or commercial activity when the state provides tax dollars to subsidize
the bandwidth (not to mention allowing the IT people to answer
investigators questions of why their machines are causing problems). KU
and Missouri State both require MAC address registration on many parts
of the campus, Missouri State as a mechanism to bill departments for the
equipment necessary to support the network (they charge a monthly rate
for access per user). It helps charge the people that use the service
for the cost of the service. When I was working for the residence life
networking department, they even looked at using MAC registration as a
mechanism to assist in keeping people for putting cheap SOHO switches on
the network since the department head in networking was a stickler for
adhering to networking standards which require no more then three layers
deep of switches to help ensure spanning algorithm calculations don't
get screwed up, and load balancing works properly, ensuring the top
layer switch doesn't have more child nodes then its backplane can handle
properly. And when the Idaho State domain gets blacklisted by major ISPs
because some idiot brings an infected machine that starts spamming email
(happened to Drury on a spoofed email that wasn't even from us and STILL
took almost a week to get AT&T to recognize it was an error), I guess
that is just something Idaho State students, faculty, and staff should
expect as part of the great honor of hosting the National tournament.

 

   So, before you go off the deep end and calling something ridiculous
that you probably know nothing about (why the policy exists), you might
stop for a half second and ask for the RATIONALE. The IT department at
Missouri State was reluctant to ever assist the debate program in
ensuring network access for off campus guests at
tournaments/camps/debate activities, going ape shit on them would NOT
make them any more lenient/accommodating. If I recall, a number of hosts
have also had this problem. Wake limited access to a specified number of
computers in a specific area, and UMKC required passcodes that were
limited if I remember right. You should instead thank Idaho State people
that are working to get you SOME access for networking.

 

   As to the question of how to otherwise get access, I don't know,
maybe get a cell phone that is tetherable, a PCMCIA card with your own
access, or use some of your l33t computer skills to fight the man if you
want to, but you could be a little nicer to someone trying to provide
YOU with a hospitable nationals. Really? You think it is unreasonable
that a school expects you to ensure your antivirus is up to date and
your computer clean of any of the NUMEROUS
Trojans/viruses/spyware/malware/rogue SMTP servers that have been
devastating networks for years, much less the myriad specific
Trojans/worms over the last 6 months that have been targeting holes in
IE 7 and open network shares? You want a list of those like Conficker
that have popped up since July alone? Any idea how many out of band
patches Microsoft has released in the last 6 months? How about the zero
day Excel exploit just discovered a couple of days ago. You have any
idea what a pain in the ass trying to ensure stability in network is
when you have no control of the machines that connect to it? Yeah, sorry
those wacky IT control freaks are trying to ensure the
safety/reliability/stability of their network. PLEASE.

 

Martin Harris

Systems Engineer - Desktop Architecture

Drury University - Technology Services

900 N Benton Ave

Springfield, Missouri 65802

office: 417-873-7848

fax:      417-873-7835

 

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