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

matt stannard stannardmatt
Sat Feb 28 11:01:01 CST 2009

On at least two levels, I couldn't have said this better myself.  



Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 03:12:24 -0600
From: mharris02 at drury.edu
To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] Fw: Computer Access CEDA - IMPORTANT!!!! Deadline March 1.

   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
Windows Live? Contacts: Organize your contact list. 
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