Ucas 'hacked' ahead of A-level results

Hackers targeted Ucas.com just hours before thousands of students received their results yesterday

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The Independent Online

Ucas has been the victim of a hacking attempt, when its website was the target of a denial of service attack. The site was unavailable late on 14 August, the day before thousands of A-level students were due to receive their results across the country.  

A spokesperson for Ucas said: “The UCAS website suffered a sustained, criminal ‘denial of service’ attack. The site was down for an hour and then restored fully. No personal information was compromised. Confirmation and Clearing went ahead as normal. The attack originated in the Asia Pacific region and the police have been informed.”

The chief executive of Ucas, Mary Curnock Cook, speaking to the Huffington Post, said staff were 'pretty upset' at the attempt.

"The incident was contained very, very quickly and no personal data was released to anybody.”

As of yesterday evening, over one million students had logged into Track. Ucas placed nearly double the number of students through clearing this year, in comparison with numbers from last year.

7,970 students had found a place through clearing, compared with 4,180 last year.

The attempt to wreck the system was stopped, thanks to new technology that Ucas have installed in their software.

Cumock Cook said: "This year we have made a step-change in our technology arrangements and most of our critical services are deployed in the cloud, which gives us massive resilience."