Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Online Michigan bar exam crashes due to apparent hacking attempt

Fortunately the bar exam administrators resolved the issues with ExamSoft after a short delay and all 733 test-takers who began a compressed version of the Michigan bar exam today were able to finish.  From the Detroit Free Press:

Michigan online bar exam crashes in middle of testing; hacking attempt blamed


Michigan's online bar exam crashed Tuesday about an hour into the exam, temporarily locking out aspiring lawyers taking the hours-long test.


After the test was complete later in the day, the Michigan Supreme Court and the state Board of Law Examiners issued a statement saying the crash was the result of a hacking attempt.


The glitch confirmed the fears of many test-takers, some of whom spent the days before the test asking for it to be cancelled.


The exam software cuts off Internet access for those taking the tests during each module. When each module was done, Internet access was restored and test takers were supposed to log into a secure website to get the password for the next module. The test takers were unable to get into that site and get the passwords, according to John Nevin, a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court and the state Board of Law Examiners.


Nevin said the test continued despite the password delays.


"As a result of this delay, test takers were notified via email that the testing day will be adjusted to allow additional time and account for those who got in late. The vendor will also be emailing the passwords for the remaining modules to avoid any further issues.”


Several hundred people took the test Tuesday. By the evening, the Board of Law Examiners announced all 733 people who took the test were able to complete it, despite the hacking attempt.


"ExamSoft experienced a distributed denial of service (DDOS) cyber-attack that prevented some test-takers from accessing their passwords," Nevin said around 7 p.m. Tuesday. "After a short delay for some applicants, ExamSoft was able to successfully thwart this attack, and at no time was any test-taker data compromised. 


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Continue reading here.


Hat tip to Professor Michael Richmond. 


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