IMESD staff quickly resolve regional network disruption

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Regional Internet networks and devices were disrupted Tuesday during a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, but thanks to the swift response from staff in the InterMountain Education Service District’s (IMESD) technology department, the interruption in service was resolved in just 30 minutes.

The DDoS attack, which has been reported to authorities, used such a large amount of bandwidth that users throughout the region weren’t able to access the Internet. The disruption first impacted the Umatilla School District before spreading throughout the region.

DDoS attacks are fairly common and are targeted at disabling networks and devices through a disruption of service. They are not designed to access data, so no data was breached in the incident. A DDoS attack can be likened to 1,000 people all trying to call 9-1-1 at the same time for a non-emergency, and when legitimate callers try to get through, they’re denied access.

DDoS attacks began occurring in the Umatilla School District in September 2014. Tuesday’s incident was the first time the attack impacted the region’s network.

“Our focus is on preventative measures and swift resolution when disturbances occur,” said Cheri Rhinhart, Director of Information Technology Services at IMESD. “Our staff is to be commended on their due diligence and quick response on Tuesday to minimize the impact of this DDoS attack. The speed at which they fixed the issue is impressive.”

IMESD provides technology services to school districts and several public agencies throughout the eastern Oregon region.