A recent cyberattack against the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) maintained by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reminds us that even agencies of the U.S. federal government are not immune to the dangers of cyber threats.
In a brief statement issued in early May, Dr. David Bray, the FCC’s Chief Information Officer, confirmed that multiple, distributed denial-of-service attacks were launched against the FCC’s computers, beginning Sunday night, May 7th. In his statement, Bray notes that the ECFS system remained up and running throughout the attacks, but that consumers and other interested parties may have been prevented from posting comments on proposed FCC actions.
“We have worked with our commercial partners to address this situation and will continue to monitor developments going forward,” Bray tersely noted in his statement.
At least one report suggests that the attacks may have been related to the FCC’s proposed changes to its net neutrality rules. According to a posting on the website phys.org, the attacks followed comments by television host John Oliver “urging the FCC to keep strong net neutrality rules.” Oliver reportedly provided his viewers with a link where they could send their comments to the agency.