AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A cyberattack on the Agawam Public Schools system is shutting down a part of their internet network this week. Cybersecurity experts say hackers directed computers to send large amounts of unwanted data to the district’s IP address.
“This can cause all kinds of disruptions. It’s basically clogging your internet with data that you don’t necessarily want or need and could be harmful to you,” Service technician at YES Computers, Tony Russell-Smith told 22News.
This specific attack is called a Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack. Agawam Public Schools says it’s caused their IP address to be flooded and prevented any outgoing or incoming activity on the server. Cyberattacks like these are typically short in duration but this one has lasted longer than a typical attack. The good thing is there are ways to prevent it in the future.
“That’s where the cloud comes in. Why a lot of businesses are switching to the cloud. The idea is when your data is stored on multiple different locations throughout the internet and multiple locations throughout the world, it is much more difficult to take you offline,” Russell-Smith explained.
To help solve the issue, the school district IT department shut down the guest network for the system through May 14th with a possible extension if necessary. The school district-imposed internet outage only impacts personal devices being used on the guest network.
The school asks all students and staff to use only school-issues devices when in the buildings. The Agawam Public Schools system is working with police to determine who is responsible for the attack.
This attack is more common on personal computers but to help prevent it you can unplug your router to change your IP address.