Following a full investigation by the Federal Communication Commission’s inspector general, what was believed to be a cyberattack on the FCC filing system last May was not a cyberattack at all.
Nope. Instead, it was a combination of a drastic increase in traffic (see democracy in action) and flaws in the system’s design.
On May 7th, 2017, the commission’s comment system crashed after John Oliver encouraged the viewers of Last Week Tonight to go to gofccyourself.com to submit comments ahead of the FCC’s December vote to roll back net neutrality rules. Thousands of viewers flocked to the site which crashed the system.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has long held that the system crash was the result of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, and a vast amount of targeted traffic was the cause of the system’s downtime. But according to the inspector general, there was no cyberattack at all.
“Our investigation did not substantiate the allegations of multiple DDoS attacks,” the report said.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel put out a statement yesterday condemning the agency: “The [report] tells us what we knew all along: the FCC’s claim that it was a victim of a DDoS attack during the net neutrality proceeding is bogus,” she said. “What happened instead is obvious — millions of Americans overwhelmed our online system because they wanted to tell us how important internet openness is to them and how distressed they were to see the FCC roll back their rights.”
Chairman Pai responded: “It has become clear that in addition to a flawed comment system, we inherited from the prior Administration a culture in which many members of the Commission’s career IT staff were hesitant to express disagreement with the Commission’s former CIO in front of FCC management.”
That’s funny Ajit, weren’t you on the previous Obama era FCC council?
Yes, yes you were.