WSC targeted by Denial of Service Attack

Nathan Reiland-Smith, News Writer

Wayne State College was the target of a Denial of Service attack, (DoS Attack) on August 30, at 11:48a.m. During this time, the WSC computer network was not available to campus, and its data was vulnerable to compromise. A report issued the next day from the WSC Service Center stated, “We have no reason to believe any data or system was compromised beyond being unavailable from 11:48 a.m. – 12:03 p.m. yesterday.”

WSC is partnered with Network Nebraska. Although the school suffered from DoS attack, it only fought 20 mins of the attack, after which, at 12:03 p.m. Network Nebraska stepped in. The DoS attack lasted several hours, but the effects were only felt on campus for 20 minutes, due to the help of Network Nebraska, said John Dunning, vice president of information technology.

Dunning said, it seemed likely Wayne State College campus network was actually hit with a DDoS Attack, or a Distributed Denial of Service, as opposed to the DoS all faculty and staff were informed about via the next day report. Although this is a slight difference in terminology, it has an effect on the overall preventive measures taken by WSC, as a DoS attack differs in its trackability. Defined by PaloAltoNetwork, “A DDoS attack occurs when multiple systems orchestrate a synchronized DoS attack to a single target.” This means it is very difficult to find the originating attacker. Dunning noted, because of this feature, the future of the schools security, is safe. Still, WSC has no indication of what caused the attack, or who was responsible. Because the attacks are difficult to anticipate, WSC alongside Network Nebraska will defend the attacks as they come.

“The Infrastructure and Enterprise Services team is working diligently with our vendors and partners to implement measures to prevent these sorts of attacks in the future. Providing a stable, safe, and secure computing environment is one of the most important services we, as an IT services team, can provide,” Brandon Eckmann, Director of Infrastructure and Enterprise, said.