Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Brief network outage due to deliberate attack

Services affected: Internet access

Services NOT affected: Macalester accounts and application servers were not hacked or compromised in any way.

When did this take place: April 30, 2018 from 8:30 to 8:39 AM

What happened: An entity from China deliberately flooded Macalester's network in an attempt to stop legitimate Internet use. This is known as a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack.

A DoS attack is meant to shut down a network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic, or sending it information that triggers a crash. In both instances, the DoS attack deprives legitimate users (i.e. employees, members, or account holders) of the service or resource they expected.

What you may have noticed: Some lucky users were not even aware that the network was down or slow. Some users received this notice: There is no Internet connection.

What ITS is doing: We have a support case open to our vendor to review the event. Changes to mitigate future DoS attacks will be made if possible.

What you need to do: Report network outages or slowness to the ITS Help Desk.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or helpdesk@macalester.edu.