I found on Tuesday night that MIT Sloan had turned off WiFi access for unknown laptops. In olden days (as recently as last year), using a WiFi card with an unknown id number would redirect you to a page where you could register as an alumnus. Talking to the students, I learned that the IT department had shut that door to prevent Blaster from running wild.
This morning I went to one of the main campus MIT libraries and went to the IS pages, and found no mention of turning off alumni WiFi access. Opening my laptop, I found that I actually could still access the network while on MIT’s main campus. I registered my laptop and am now happily surfing in my favorite main campus location, the Lewis Music Library.
This all raises a question: did MIT find that the b-school students were less likely to patch their systems than the main campus engineering students? Or did the IT department at Sloan (which is partly independent of the main campus IS group) decide on their own to save themselves headaches by pre-empting the problem? The fact that Sloan is mostly a Windows shop while the rest of the campus tends to be pretty heterogeneous may also have something to do with it. The end result, though, is that laptops are less trusted at Sloan than on main campus.