12/15

Almost two years ago, I've announced a small tool called Course Schedule Exporter, which exports the course schedule as ical format from BIT's internal banner system, based on a formerly private tool developed by myself to do such kind of exporting work. To bring it online, I've started a semi-private project called DPRBIT to bridge into the intranet of Beijing Institute of Technology so that our tool can access the data residing in the banner within the intranet.

DPRBIT provided an HTTP proxy as the interface to users. When a users tried to access any address via this proxy, our system would redirect the user to our authentication portal to verify the identity via the Central Authentication Service (CAS) maintained by the Network Service Center of BIT. After finishing up the authentication, the user would be granted to use the tunnel to access the intranet for 30 minutes. Course Schedule Exporter was based on this infrastructure with some minor exemptions mostly on the authentication part.

Both of them worked well. DPRBIT helped a number of exchange/study-abroad students that year to access the intranet to finish up their compulsory capstone project filings, as the university's VPN was authenticated based on the billing status of the student's campus Internet account, which is ridiculous as those study-abroad students would not be on-campus to use the campus Internet let alone paying the monthly fees.

These systems have been there for two years, while the public interface for DPRBIT had been taken offline shortly after a port scanning activity from our server reported to our ISP, which was suspected to be due to any potential backdoor residing in the front-tier of DPRBIT.

Recently, our link to BIT's intranet went off presumably due to a network topology change at BIT, and the CAS maintained by the Network Service Center is no longer open to any developer but restricted only to their "official" services without any other possibility to gain the access to the CAS. Since these two services have been running for two years and some of the designs have been proved to be lack of scalability, I've decided to terminate these two services.

The user interfaces to them are still left running, but the core services have been taken down permanently. I am happy to resume these services with any current BIT student who is interested in this project.