Cyber attacks take down Rutgers servers more than once in 2015
University servers were taken down multiple times this past year after being targeted by Distributed Denial of Service attacks.
DDoS attacks occur when a user forces thousands of computers to request information from a server at once. The attack can render the server completely helpless, which forces administrators to take it down in order to protect it from damage.
The University hosts several servers that allow students access to the Internet and its own services.
Many services were unavailable during the attacks. During two of the network disruptions, first-year students were unable to register for classes, further inconveniencing the University’s newest members.
The alleged attacker used Reddit and Twitter to taunt the University and its students, claiming to release private information online and telling the community what and how they were attacking. Though not officially confirmed, the alleged perpetrator's tweets and the network attacks coincided exactly.
Due to the nature of the attacks, no student’s personal information was at risk of being discovered or shared on the Internet, according to The Daily Targum.
Two emails were also sent to The Daily Targum by the alleged attacker. These emails claimed responsibility for the November attack and predicted a second attack in early March.
They were deemed credible by Don Smith, vice president and chief intelligence officer for the University’s Office of Information Technology, after an attack occurred at the predicted time.
The OIT originally said the fourth disruption was caused by “technical difficulties,” but later stated, on Facebook and through email, it was a Denial of Service.