Cyberattack on Alamo Colleges is thwarted

The Alamo Colleges shut down several computer systems Wednesday to protect them from a cyberattack, officials said, mySA reports.

The community college district discovered the attack about 11 a.m. and as a precaution took several systems — including the student portal — offline temporarily, said Thomas Cleary, the vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems.

It notified staff and students via email. The district has about 58,000 students in five colleges who began their fall semester Monday.

“We have 12 billion records. The good news is that it’s all secure,” Cleary said. “We have no data corruption and no data breach.”

Cleary said the district’s system can handle high traffic but, in this case, operators saw “an unbelievable amount of traffic, and we saw it coming from very few URLs,” which could have brought down the system.

“No one legitimate person would have tens of thousands of requests in a matter of minutes,” he said, adding that while the district encounters this type of attack often, “we’ve never had an attack on this scale.”

…The attack specifically targeted the administrative system and did not affect telephones or Internet access, he said.

The only thing that remained an issue by midafternoon was the interface between ACES and Banner, which meant students couldn’t look up their course schedules or financial aid online, Cleary said.

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