Cyber-attack shuts down Kansas state testing

How you could be playing a part in the attack

A cyber-attack shut down state testing in Kansas. It caused the state to stop all federally required math and reading tests until the site was fixed.

This type of attack floods a website and you could be playing a part.

Fifteen thousand educators use the Kansas Interactive Testing Engine but the attack shut down the website on Tuesday. It forced the state to suspend testing until Thursday.

The Kansas State Department of Education called it a Distributed Denial of Services attack, or DDOS.

This is something that Data Doctors internet security expert Steve Nelson says happens often.

“The ways to do it, it's out there and it's a relatively simple thing to do,” Nelson said.

A person uses several computers to log onto a website and flood it with data. This type of attack doesn’t take information but if you have a virus on your computer you could be involved.

“That software is sitting on your computer and it's just waiting. It's waiting for the person that's controlling it to wake that computer up and say ok, now it's time to go after this account,” Nelson said.

You can protect your computer from being used in this type of attack.

  1. Update your operating system
  2. Keep antivirus current
  3. Upgrade from Windows XP

People from the state’s testing website worked with outside experts to make changes to help prevent the shutdown from happening again. They expected to have everything back up and running by Thursday.

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