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DDoS attack downs University of London learning platform

A harsh lesson, now stand in the corridor for four hours

By John Leyden, 22 May 2015

The University of London Computer Centre fell victim to a cyber-attack on Thursday.

The assault left Moodle – an open-source learning platform – out of action for several hours on Thursday morning before normal service was restored.

Technicians initially estimated problems were down to firewall configuration issues, before realising actual humans were behind the problem, as status messages on the ULCC website explain.

All our services are now up and running again! The networking issue was caused by a cyber-attack.

We have taken action to block the source. An incident report will be produced and shared in due course.

George Anderson, director at security software firm Webroot, said that the timing of the attack just before students sit their finals is unlikely to be a coincidence.

"This attack was clearly implemented to have maximum impact on a system that would have been at peak usage around exam time," Anderson said.

"While it’s positive to see that staff at ULCC have got the system back up and running, over four 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," he added. ®

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