Denial of Service Attack

There were six Denial of Service attacks on the WPI servers between April 7th and April 25th.  WPI has bought standard Denial of Service mitigation services that will deal with these attacks.  WPI’s ASSISTments is offering a reward of $100 dollars for information that leads the identification of this attack.  We encourage the perpetrator to come forward before they are apprehended.   

Each of the five botnet attacks lasted for approximately 40 minutes starting at or around 2:30pm EST on 4/7, 4/12, 4/13, 4/14, 4/15, and 4/25.  This means that ~50,000 different machines across the internet simultaneously attempted to talk to the ASSISTments servers over and over again. This attack was so big that all 6000 students and employees of WPI were affected with thousands of lost work hours.  It also resulted in thousands of students across the country not able to complete their assignments on ASSISTments.

The people behind these attacks are exposing themselves to a civil lawsuit and criminal charges due to the thousands of lost work hours. WPI takes this attack on its infrastructure seriously and reminds the attackers that they are committing state and federal criminal acts as well as exposing themselves (and their families should they be minors) to serious civil liabilities.  

WPI Network Security is working to collect forensics data to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice. Read about the Denial of Service law and the punishments for such an attack.

Due to the way the internet works, unfortunately denial of service attacks are somewhat easy to conduct. Professor Heffernan, director of the ASSISTments service said 

“These attacks are probably done by a student who wants get out of having to do homework.   He/she probably thinks this is like pulling a fire alarm in a school to get out of math class.  He/she probably doesn't realize the seriousness of these acts.  These acts are criminal and people go to jail for such acts.  They also expose their families/themselves to civil and criminal penalties as well as possible sanctions by their schools, for damaging schools services.  Finally, making all of your friends have to spend a lot more time having to get their homework done is not very nice.  I ask for the perpetrators of this attack to stop and come forward by emailing Professor Heffernan via [email protected].  Thank you.  For all of the rest of you we apologize for this disruption.”


Page created by Andrew Burnett -2016