Email Outage Issue [Updated June 20]

| June 14, 2013
Final UPDATE, June 20:

Last week, the POP email server failed, affecting 4,000 e-mail accounts at Webster University. Information Technology employees successfully replaced the server. All individual accounts have been restored.

Some users have reported that Outlook or Mac Mail is no longer accepting their passwords. If you have this issue, log into your mail through the webmail portal at https://webmail.webster.edu/. To log in, you will need to know your email server name. Instructions to log in and find your email server name are available.

If you successfully log in to your email account through Webmail, then please follow these online instructions on how to reset your Outlook or Mac Mail password. If you were not able to log in to Webmail, or if you are not comfortable following the instructions to reset your email program’s password, then call the Service Desk (information below).

Be aware that service calls have been higher than normal because of this week’s e-mail server crash and there currently is a backlog of calls that IT employees are working through.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked through this week’s email issues.

Previous updates appear below.

UPDATE, June 18:

Last Thursday, the POP e-mail server failed, affecting 4,000 e-mail accounts at Webster University. Information Technology employees worked through the weekend and successfully replaced the server. All individual accounts have been restored.

As of this morning, some Microsoft Outlook users are reporting issues. IT is investigating this issue. Until a solution is discovered, Outlook users who cannot access their mail should use the webmail portal at https://webmail.webster.edu/. To log in, you will need to know your email server name. Instructions to log in and find your email server name are available.

All service accounts – e-mail addresses for programs or departments but not for individuals – have been restored. Owners of service accounts who continue to have problems accessing their accounts should submit a work order.

Some departments also have reported that their Xerox and/or Fax machines are unable to send electronic documents. Those departments also should submit a work order so that their devices can be reconfigured to the new server.

All other known issues caused by the e-mail server failure, as well as a separate phishing attack over the weekend, have been resolved. If you continue to have issues with your e-mail access and it is not an issue reported above, please call the Service Desk:

On-campus: ext. 5995
Off-campus: 314-968-5995
Toll-free: 1-866-435-7270

Another new issue was discovered. An e-mail account at Webster was compromised by a phishing scam which caused 300,000 spam messages to be sent from Webster’s servers. While that e-mail account has been shut down, some Webster University e-mail messages may be periodically rejected until Webster is able to fully address the issue.

Webster will continue to update the status of e-mail service through messages in Webster Today (blogs.webster.edu/WebsterToday)  as well as at the IT Service Desk site.

UPDATE June 17, 3:50 p.m.:

Last Thursday, the POP e-mail server failed, affecting 4,000 e-mail accounts at Webster University. Information Technology employees worked through the weekend and successfully replaced the server. All individual accounts have been restored. Some service accounts – e-mail addresses for programs or departments but not for individuals – continue to have issues.

Owners of those accounts who previously reported problems will be contacted by IT employees as soon as possible to receive instructions on how to reconnect to those accounts. Owners of service accounts who have not reported problems need to do so as soon as possible by submitting a work order.

IT also received a few reports of e-mail accounts which worked Monday morning but started requesting log-in credentials in the afternoon. IT identified and resolved the issue. If you continue to be affected by this issue, contact the help desk at:
On-campus: ext. 5995
Off-campus: 314-968-5995
Toll-free: 1-866-435-7270

Another new issue was discovered. An e-mail account at Webster was compromised by a phishing scam which caused 300,000 spam messages to be sent from Webster’s servers. While that e-mail account has been shut down, some Webster University e-mail messages may be periodically rejected until Webster is able to fully address the issue.

Webster will continue to update the status of e-mail service through messages in Webster Today (blogs.webster.edu/WebsterToday)  as well as at the IT Service Desk site.

PREVIOUS UPDATE, June 14, 1:30 p.m.

Yesterday’s email issues on the pop email server were the result of hardware failure. IT staff worked through the night to build a new pop email server and to restore email data from backups. They are now working to properly configure services on the new server to replicate those of the failed server and expect to have the new server ready to send and receive email as early as the evening of June 14.

Once the server is restored to service, it will begin processing and delivering emails that could not be delivered after the server went down.

Highest priority is being directed toward the restoration of personal email accounts. After that, service accounts and email aliases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Service accounts are generally departmental accounts, like it@webster.edu, while an alias is an email address that takes the place of an assigned account, such as johndoe@webster.edu in place of johndoe00@webster.edu.

If you own a service account or email alias, please contact the Service Desk at ext. 5995 to request a password reset of your account. Work orders will be addressed based on priority within 24 to 48 hours after the server is up and running.

Check the IT website for the latest information.

ORIGINAL Alert, June 14:

We are currently experiencing an email outage, affecting close to 4,000 faculty and staff members who have accounts on the pop email server. Pop mail accounts are unable to send or receive email, and we are unable to send the Webster Today email out to the community.

Information Technology is investigating the issue and working to resolve it as quickly as possible. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Please share this information with your colleagues. We will continue to provide updates to the University community as new information regarding this outage becomes available. Questions can also be directed to the Help Desk at ext. 5995.

Thank you for patience and understanding.

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Category: Employee News

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