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State networks are under attack

On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's (R) office announced that the state's networks have been attacked and that the state is working to address the issue.

"Beginning Tuesday afternoon, some Alabama state government websites were subject to a "denial of service" attack," a spokesperson for the governor announced. "There was no breech, and the state's computers and information have not been accessed. In conjunction with the state's carrier, the Alabama OIT is actively working to mitigate the attack, which may cause some state websites to be slow temporarily."

"It's been a nightmare," a source who works for a state agency told the Alabama Gazette. "It's (the network) cut me off five times with clients. I have to call them back to get back on."

The Alabama Office of Information Technology (OIT) was created in 2013 under the administration of Governor Robert Bentley (R), through the passage of Senate Bill 117 (Act 2013-68). In the same Act, the Legislature also established the position of Secretary of Information Technology – the first time in Alabama's history that a Cabinet-level position was created specifically for Information Technology.

OIT can actually trace its origins as far back as 1973 when the Data Systems Management Division was created within the State of Alabama Department of Finance. for the state and its many agencies. The Legislature officially established the Telecommunications Division – also within the Department of Finance – in the 1990s to streamline and provide for the State of Alabama's telecommunications service needs. The Telecommunications Division would eventually merge with the Data Systems Management Division in 1997 to become the Information Service Division (ISD) of the Department of Finance.

In 2017 the Legislature transferred all functions of the Department of Finance's ISD to OIT. Approximately 150 highly skilled IT professionals work for OIT.

A denial of service attack makes a network unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to a network. Hackers will flood the targeted network with requests to try to overload the system. This prevents actual legitimate users from being able to access the network's services.

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