Connectivity Issues Caused by Attacks

by Anika Mittu ‘19

From September 25- 29, MCPS experienced county-wide network connectivity issues due to an attack on the school system’s network. These attacks disabled wifi throughout the county, briefly rendering Promethean boards and chromebooks useless.

MCPS found a temporary fix to these issues on September 26, but connectivity issues continued due to security issues surrounding the hardware. Officials attempted to track down the cause of the issues, ultimately verifying that the disruptions were caused by purposeful attacks. These attacks were merely “designed to slow [the] system,” said Pete Cevenini, Chief Technology Officer of MCPS. He repeatedly emphasized that the attacks never threatened the personal information of staff and students, as the firewall and related security systems protected against potential data breaches.

By September 29, the source of the attack was located, successfully returning connectivity to MCPS. In order to ensure that similar issues do not occur in the future, Cevenini stated that “law enforcement has been involved” and “[the] network team worked with technology vendors … to strengthen the system against future attacks.”