The University of London Computer Centre's open source learning platform, Moodle, was taken down for over four hours after a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Thursday. At first thought to be a technical issue involving firewall configurations, the centre's IT support soon realised that hackers were behind the downed platform.
The attack's timing—right before final exams—is unlikely to be a coincidence, according to George Anderson, director at Webroot. "This attack was clearly implemented to have maximum impact on a system that would have been at peak usage around exam-time," Anderson commented in an email to SCMagazineUK.com.
"While it's positive to see that staff at ULCC have got the system back up and running, over 4 hours of ‘complete shutdown' is not an acceptable time-period in most businesses cases. Hopefully this case will serve as a warning to other organisations, encouraging them to ensure that they have an effective strategy in place to make sure user experience is impacted as little as possible."