DDoS attack on Michigan online bar exam takes Test takers out of the online exam


Michigan online bar exam takes Test takers out of the online exam after being hit by a DDoS attack

The State Board of Law Examiners (BLE) was created by the Michigan Legislature to oversee the investigation and examination of persons who apply for admission to the State Bar. The BLE administers the Michigan Bar Examination twice a year, in February and July, and then releases the exam results.

The office also processes applications for recertification from attorneys who have been on inactive status ​for more than three years and wish to resume active practice in Michigan. Board members are nominated by the Supreme Court and appointed by the Governor for five-year terms.

As you all know the current situation over the globe due to Coronavirus the BLE took a decision that the Michigan bar exam will be taken online. The Michigan online bar exam was scheduled on Tuesday, July 28, with 773 law school graduates who were taking the online bar exam manufactured by ExamSoft Worldwide Inc, said John Nevin, spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court.

During the Michigan online bar exams being taken online, it faced a DDoS attack that took the test-takers out of the online exams. According to the examination modules where prepared, 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.

It was learned that the hours-long exam had 5 modules designed for completing the test, while the test-takers got locked out at the beginning of the second module of the five-module test due to a cyber attack. This provided a new element of stress for lawyers-in-training who have been preparing for the exam amid uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The issue was resolved soon after, Nevin said: 200 students were back in the system within 10 minutes, while the others could access the exam in 37 minutes. “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.”

One of those who experienced the issue was Kerry Martin, a University of Michigan Law School graduate who downloaded all five modules prior to the day-long, timed test. He said that I tried to get the password that was posted five minutes before the second module began at 10 a.m. Martin went to the page where the password was supposed to be but couldn’t get onto the website. He refreshed the page for more than 30 minutes and still couldn’t access the password to continue taking the test.

“Applicants affected by the delay were given additional time to enter the exam and complete that module within the hour allocated, and all applicants completed the exam within the extended time, The Board is committed to further investigation to better understand the cyber-attack and the impact on applicants if any,” the board statement said.

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