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EQAO test fell victim to cyberattack, investigations confirm

Deloitte and Toronto Police Service look into cyberattack that cancelled standardized test last October
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The investigations into the cyberattack that disrupted the Education Quality and Accountability Office's (EQAO) online Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) Oct. 20 of last year have concluded. Supplied photo.

The investigations into the cyberattack that disrupted the Education Quality and Accountability Office's (EQAO) online Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) on Oct. 20 of last year have concluded.

Both Deloitte and the Toronto Police Service confirm EQAO's original conclusion that a targeted Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyberattack was the cause of the technical issues that led to the cancellation of the standardized literacy test back in the fall.

As part of its effort to move assessments online, EQAO attempted to conduct the first provincewide administration of the OSSLT in October 2016.

The assessment was cancelled within a few hours, due to widespread technical issues with the system caused by the DDoS cyberattack.

EQAO is discussing the implications of the investigations' findings with its business partners and stakeholders, and has welcomed feedback from the education community about any aspect of its move to online assessments.

These considerations will help determine next steps and timelines regarding the return to online assessments.

EQAO is also working with its business partners to strengthen security to better protect itsekf against cyberattacks, a press release said.

In the meantime, investigators continue to try to identify the culprit or culprits behind the attack.

- Sudbury.com



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