BOCES: Cyber attack to blame for more ELA testing problems

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A cyber attack is to blame for additional issues with electronic English Language Arts testing that specifically impacted students in Central New York on Thursday.

Districts statewide experienced delays with ELA assessments on Wednesday due to problems with Questar, the vendor administering the exams. 

Some school districts, like North Syracuse and Liverpool, resumed testing on Thursday and ran into similar issues. 

OCM BOCES, which oversees the Central New York Regional Information Center that provides internet to many area school districts, identified the “well-crafted denial of service (DOS) attack” this morning. 

The attack was intermittent, lasting 20 minutes each time, BOCES said. 

There was no breach of systems, data or student information, but the attack consumed all internet bandwidth resources that were available to the districts.

“I hope you will understand that, as with any brand-new initiative, we do expect issues to arise that ultimately will allow us to learn, grow and greatly improve the process in the future. I thank you again for demonstrating the leadership skills that have allowed us to handle these computer difficulties with grace and poise, which ultimately served to benefit our students,” said Jody Manning, OCM BOCES district superintendent and CEO.  

Read the full letter from BOCES sent to schools below. Mobile users can click here. 

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