Starting March 27, the KITE® system was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, flooding our websites with over 1,000 times the legitimate traffic. DDoS is a one-way system attack, and no student data were ever in jeopardy. We tried several approaches to mitigating this problem, but as the attack increased we had to shut down the site on Tuesday.
The Center for Educational Testing & Evaluation (CETE) worked Tuesday and Wednesday with an external DDoS expert to mitigate the issue. We appreciate everyone ceasing testing for the day to allow us time to implement and test a solution. A few schools in Kansas were kind enough to test the system for us externally, allowing us to verify the fix and provide additional information to all test takers.
We are pleased to report that a solution has been found and at least four schools in Kansas were able to test successfully on Wednesday. Additionally, several students in multiple states were able to take the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment. However, there are two technical issues schools and districts need to address before resuming testing:
- The solution eliminates IP-based firewall filtering. Please change content and firewall filters to allow the host name (*.cete.us).
- Local caching servers (LCS) will not work with KITE using the current configuration. For the remainder of the week, please do not use LCS when testing through KITE. On Monday, we will provide information on how to reconfigure the LCS to make it compatible with KITE.
- If you receive a DDoS error, please contact the Help Desk (1-855-277-9751) and provide your IP addresses so CETE can whitelist your addresses on the new anti-DDoS filter. As always, Help Desk is also available for any other assistance you may require.
For more information on the DDoS attack, read this news article or watch this television report. Thank you for your understanding.