Rutgers University Faces China And Ukraine In ‘March Madness’ DDoS Attack

While so many of us were getting our college basketball on this weekend, Rutgers University was dealing with an entirely different kind of challenge in the form of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

Triggered by the efforts of a malicious entity consisting of two or more people or bots, the intent of a DDoS is to indefinitely interrupt or suspend the services of a host connected to the Internet. The attack on the Rutgers computer networks apparently took place on Friday afternoon and originated in both China and Ukraine, according to NBC New York.


In an email sent out Sunday to tens of thousands of Rutgers students at 2:30PM EST, approximately an hour after the university's website went down for 15 minutes, Rutgers vice president of Information Technology Don Smith acknowledged the cyberattack, saying "The Rutgers Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been working around the clock to resolve service interruptions caused by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) that began Friday afternoon."

"While we work to resolve this matter, some services will be unavailable or only work intermittently," Smith added.

Reports are saying that although certain tools used by Rutgers students and faculty have been affected — for instance, the university's Sakai learning software was not available off-campus on Sunday — the university has not detected any thefts of personal or confidential information up until this point. The school has also said that it will continue to closely monitor the situation, and that Rutgers IT personnel are working non-stop to restore the university systems to pre-attack state.

Of course, not to make light of the seriousness and apparent severity of the cyberattack on Rutgers over the weekend, but it has to be said that nothing about the event changes the fact that the last time the university played in the NCAA College Basketball tournament was back in 1991, long before DDoS attacks were taking place at the rate of 28 per hour worldwide.