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Cyber attack shuts down CPS network

Columbia Public Schools is back online after a district-wide cyber attack. Someone shut down the CPS network twice this week.

“This was a bad, an especially bad week for it to happen because we had the online testing for the Star test and the Aspire test. It would never be good because we rely on Internet every day to deliver instruction,” said Linda Quinley for Columbia Public Schools.

It’s called a distributed denial of service attack. Someone is spamming the CPS network so quickly, it’s clogging the system pipeline — shutting down the Internet across the district.

The cyber attack first hit Monday. CPS got the network back up and then another attack on Thursday shut down it down again.

“It’s district wide. You can imagine that is difficult for our schools who rely more and more on web access in order to get to curriculum and to use resources that are out there,” said Quinley.

Technicians have been able to keep the network up and running since Thursday afternoon.

Administrators said the cyber attacker didn’t steal any personal information.

“He was filling our pipeline with spam, not really caring about getting to anything — just trying to make sure we couldn’t get out,” said Quinley.

The city of Columbia suffered the same type of attack back in December — shutting down its website. The suspect in that attack was arrested in Arizona by federal authorities.

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