Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has confirmed technical issues that forced the cancellation of a province-wide online trial of the literacy test last week was due to an “intentional, malicious” cyberattack.
The online secondary school literacy test was scheduled for Thursday, but students and educators weren’t able to access the system.
— EQAO (@eqao) October 24, 2016
“An extremely large volume of traffic from a vast set of IP addresses around the globe was targeted at the network hosting the assessment application,” a statement read Monday.
“The impact of this DDoS, initiated by an unknown entity or entities, was to block legitimate users’ (i.e., school boards’, schools’ and students’) access to the EQAO test application.”
Thursday’s online test was a “voluntary trial to test the system’s readiness” before the test scheduled in March.
The DDoS attack began just before 8 a.m. ET, the office said.
EQAO said students’ personal information wasn’t compromised during the attack.