Cyberattack Causes Outage for Library Consortium

July 23, 2018

The Online Computer Library Center, a global cooperative that provides resources, research and programming to libraries, experienced a systemwide cyberattack Thursday, causing a six- to eight-hour outage for many users. According to updates posted to the OCLC's Twitter account, the attack was a denial-of-service attack, meaning that hackers flooded the network with superfluous requests to overload the system or beat out legitimate requests.

"This was what is called a 'volumetric attack,' which is difficult to mitigate, as it floods networks with an extremely large amount of seemingly legitimate traffic," the OCLC tweeted. Amazon, GitHub and the Library of Congress have been targeted in similar attacks.

Systems were fully restored later Thursday evening, and the OCLC reports that network security was not breached and no data was stolen. OCLC has already restructured some of their services to increase security and prevent future attacks.

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