While I was working today on Computational Materials Physics Course by Stefaan Cottenier, the platform suddenly stopped working. I got the following message.

Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.
We can’t connect to the server at beta.compmatphys.org.
If you entered the right address, you can:
-Try again later
-Check your network connection
-Check that Firefox has permission to access the web (you might be connected but behind a firewall)

Firefox browser is working for me in the other websites except that one. I tried to browse from another laptop to that website and the same problem occur. Can anyone help me to solve this issue? The website is: http://beta.compmatphys.org/

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Without a link to the course, it's unlikely that people will try to see if this is reproducible on their computer. I tried and didn't find it on the author's website: molmod.ugent.be/members/stefaan-cottenier nor anywhere else. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2023 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ beta.compmatphys.org doesn't work for me on Chrome. You can try to "ping" it from a terminal. I can try that when I'm on a computer, but it's probably best to ask the author directly about the website being down. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2023 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for trying. The website is : beta.compmatphys.org $\endgroup$
    – Camilla
    Feb 3, 2023 at 14:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ A google search shows that returns two pages http://www.compmatphys.org/ and http://beta.compmatphys.org/. However, neither of them seems to be up currently. Digging a bit more, I found this page http://www.max-centre.eu/events/online-course-dft-simultaneous-hands-training-max-codes which showed that the course ran in 2019. Thus, it is highly likely that the page was taken down. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2023 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


The server went down (for fewer than 24h) due to a ransomware attack. The people from the hosting company worked hard to get it cleaned, and right now the site is online again (it may have some limited downtime in the coming hours). A backup that is fewer than 48h-old is restored.


When I ran the whois command, I learned that ownership of the domain compmatphys.org was renewed by the 2014 owner in 2021 until 2030:

Updated Date: 2021-10-05T06:43:55Z
Creation Date: 2014-11-18T14:18:09Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2030-11-18T14:18:09Z

However the ping command tells me that the website is unhosted or that the server hosting the site is down:

ping: unknown host compmatphys.org

As Hemanth Haridas pointed out in this comment, a description of the course (with a link to compmatphys.org at the bottom) can be found here and it says that it was an online course associated with Ghent University from 23 September 2019 to 9 December 2019. The course was also advertised here.

If you were working on the course earlier today and it suddenly went down, then it may just be that the server went down (hopefully not because you were viewing the course!).


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