The Ontario agency tasked with administering the first online literacy test to tens of thousands of high school students in the province last week says it was forced to pull the plug by an “intentional, malicious and sustained” cyberattack.
The Education Quality and Accountability Office says the network hosting the “voluntary” online test was targeted by an “extremely large volume of traffic from a vast set of IP addresses around the globe.”
It says the impact of the distributed denial of service attack carried out by “an unknown entity or entities” was to block legitimate users such as school boards and students from accessing the test.
Most of the province’s 900 secondary schools had signed up to participate in the test, which was a technical trial run before the first official test scheduled next year.
The EQAO, which oversees standardized testing in the province, says it is confident that student assessments can successfully be administered online.
It says an investigation is underway and will lead to recommendations to prevent similar problems in the future.
(The Canadian Press)