CAO.ie crash blamed on “malicious attack”


23 Aug 2010

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As school leavers tried to access the CAO.ie website this morning 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.”

*UPDATE*

Cao.ie is now full operational again. Full details below.

With service available on the CAO website intermittently at this moment in time the website is still timing out.

The Central Applications Office says that this is due to a "malicious attack from an unknown source" or DDoS (distributed denial of service). It is currently working with external consultants to sort out the problem.

Meanwhile, students on Boards.ie, frustrated with their inability to access the website, jokingly wondered if the website may not be down because of a DDoS attack but that it may be simply down to too much traffic after a record number of school leavers (67,640) applied to the CAO this year.

"Unfortunately, the CAO website is experiencing an intermittent loss of service due to malicious attack from an unknown source and is currently unavailable. The CAO is working hard to rectify the situation and will return its online service as soon as possible," said Joseph O’Grady, CAO operations manager.

"Please do not panic. Acceptances can be also be made by post. There is plenty of time for applicants to accept their offer, the deadline for acceptances is Monday 30 August at 5.15pm."

Those requiring access to the list of courses points for 2010 can check them here.

*UPDATE*

“The CAO is pleased to announce that our technical team has found a solution to issues caused by this morning’s attack on the CAO website. We will continue to monitor the website closely with the aim of ensuring the continuity of our online services for applicants," said O’Grady.

“By 2pm today, over 15,000 acceptances were recorded, a similar level to the same time last year. If you accepted an offer today, you can log in to the ‘my application’ section of the CAO website over the coming days to confirm your acceptance has been recorded. Acceptances can be also be made by post. There is plenty of time for applicants to accept their offer, the deadline for acceptances is Monday 30th August at 5.15pm. Parents and students should note that offers should be accepted either online or by post, not both."

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