CAO beats cyber-attackers to receive 30,000 first-round acceptances

27 Aug 2010

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The CAO has confirmed that by 5pm last night close to 30,000 applicants for university and college places submitted their first-round acceptances, despite intense cyber-attacks that began earlier this week.

Joseph O’Grady, CAO operations manager, confirmed that the ‘denial of service’ attack on the CAO website is ongoing since Monday 23 August, however, the CAO technical team has managed this threat to ensure continuity of its services.

The saga began earlier this week when the CAO website was hit by a malicious denial of service attack. As school leavers tried to access the CAO.ie website many found that the website was inaccessible, with errors messages including ‘connection to the server reset’ and an maintenance notice: “Due to maintenance work, the CAO website is currently unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience.”

Mid-week the CAO emailed applicants with new passwords to access the site.

“We have been in contact with Garda Siochána and supplied them with logs and evidence of the malicious attack on our website. We will continue our work with external consultants as we investigate this attack

“We are pleased to confirm that there have been no incidents with the website today and operations continued as normal.

“The CAO can confirm that 29,978 round one acceptances were received by 5pm today (Thursday 26 August). This brings the total acceptances to date to 37,024.

“Again we would like to thank students and their parents for their patience and reassure them that the website is being monitored on an on-going basis. Anyone with concerns should call our information line on 091 509800 or email us from the CAO website,” he said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com