You’ve got mail: service from UIC to Gmail restored

GMail outage

Illustration: Megan Strand

Email from UIC accounts to Gmail addresses was restored Monday after being blocked for about two weeks.

The Google-based service began blocking emails from university accounts March 15, after became the target of a spam attack beginning March 13 that delivered about 200,000 spam messages a day.

The email block also prevented students and employees who redirect their campus accounts to Gmail from receiving communications.

The UIC IT Governance Council, a group composed of administrators, faculty, staff and students, will investigate the problem and identify long-term solutions, said Cynthia Herrera Lindstrom, chief information officer for UIC and executive director of the Academic Computing and Communications Center.

“We are aware of how much we all rely on email to function, for the success of the university,” she said.

“We will work with governance on possible changes to make to minimize the chances of this happening again.”

About 13,000 students redirect email from their accounts to Gmail, Lindstrom said. But it’s not certain how many people were affected by the problem — UIC emails sent to any Gmail user, including researchers or prospective students, were blocked.

The university’s anti-spam vendor began blocking the spam attack when the problem was detected March 17. However, the free Gmail service does not provide support to resolve the issue, so the university had to fill out a form and wait for a response, Lindstrom said.

“We would like to thank all of the faculty and staff who helped investigate this issue, and to thank all of you for your understanding as we worked towards a solution,” Lindstrom said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email