Message from Turnitin CEO Chris Caren

Dear Customers,

Turnitin UK services experienced two recent outages on October 22, 2018 from 09:37 to 14:36 BST and on October 25, 2018 from 10:48 to 13:33 BST. The root cause of these issues was an exploited vulnerability on the login page used by our UK customers, and, during the time period, customers were not able to access their accounts. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to your institution, as we recognize that Turnitin is a mission-critical service that you rely upon for day to day operations.

The stability and security of our services are a top priority. The outages that occurred were not situations that we had encountered before and were unrelated to previous outages. As a result, it took our incident response team longer than usual to identify and fix the vulnerability. We have already made changes to prevent this from happening again and will also be adding the following safeguards to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future:

  • Additional monitoring and alerting that proactively warns for this unique type of situation.
  • Code updates in order to prevent a similar issue in the rest of the code base.

In regards to Turnitin’s overall 2018 service health, we would like to address a couple of points:

  • In comparing 2018 to 2017 service levels, Turnitin has had 56.2% less downtime but has had an increase of 64.8% in slow or degraded service;
  • Improving those degraded service numbers while keeping uptime availability as high as possible continue to be our highest priority and we will work with you to make sure that we minimize issues that result from service degradations.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this service outage has caused. If you have additional questions about these outages, please feel free to respond to this message or reach out to your UK-based Account Managers, who are carefully monitoring service for our Turnitin UK customers and will be happy to provide additional information.

We value our relationship and look forward to a continued partnership together. Thank you for your time and for listening.

Sincerely,

Chris Caren,
CEO, Turnitin

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