ATHENS – Greece’s Ministry of Education announced that it has become the target of a cyberattack, characterized as the most extensive in the nation’s history, with the intention of disabling a centralized high school examination platform.
According to the ministry, the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which aim to overwhelm the platform, persisted for a second consecutive day on Tuesday. The attack involved computers from 114 countries and resulted in outages and exam delays at high schools, although it did not manage to completely cripple the system.
In response to the cyberattacks, a judicial investigation has been initiated by order of a Supreme Court prosecutor, with assistance from the police’s cybercrime division.
“The Education Ministry regards this as the most significant attack ever carried out against a Greek public or government organization,” stated the ministry. They described the incidents on Monday and Tuesday as “large scale and of sustained duration.”
End-of-year high school exams in Greece are conducted through an online platform known as the Subject Bank, which was designed to establish a uniform nationwide standard.
As a result of the outages, students were left waiting for hours in classrooms for the exams to commence, sparking a political dispute following an inconclusive general election earlier this month. In preparation for a new election on June 25, a caretaker government has been appointed, with the outgoing conservative New Democracy party expected to secure re-election.
Popi Tsananidou, a spokeswoman for the left-wing main opposition party, SYRIZA, expressed frustration, stating, “So far, all we’ve received is an arrogant abdication of responsibility from the New Democracy government, which failed to implement adequate digital protection measures to safeguard the Subject Bank platform and ensure smooth school examinations.”