LAFAYETTE —LUS Fiber said its Internet server was attacked late Tuesday and on Wednesday by an outside “flood of data” that overwhelmed the system and left many in Lafayette without online services, including email.
Federal authorities have been notified of the attack, LUS Fiber officials said in a news release Wednesday. The release called the incident a “malicious denial of service attack.”
LUS Fiber, a division of Lafayette Utilities System, supplies fast Internet, video, and phone service to more than 14,000 Lafayette city customers.
Terry Huval, director of Lafayette Utilities System, said LUS Fiber customers did not lose any financial or other personal information to hackers.
In the news release, Huval said “the attackers were apparently interested in making a sport out of intentionally impacting our Internet service through overload.” LUS Fiber’s Internet site also remained out of service Wednesday.
William Ness, chief communications business analyst for LUS Fiber, said in an email that company officials are trying to determine how many customers went without services, and how many remained without Wednesday night. He said the outage did not affect video and phone services.
Ness also said customers’ computers were not damaged.
Irate customers on LUS Fiber’s Facebook page said their email and Internet problems started over the weekend, despite the utility’s claim that the attack and subsequent problems started Tuesday evening.
“We are currently migrating all email data to a new storage system. Once the transfer completes we will reconfigure the email server to take advantage of the new system,” LUS Fiber said on Facebook Sunday. “The configuration change will occur late Sunday night and will result in a temporary service interruption to all email users on our system.”
LUS Fiber’s firewall has been upgraded to keep up with the growing sophistication and maliciousness of computer attackers, the news release stated.
The utility said the attack started Tuesday night when someone purposely sent massive loads of data from multiple sources to crash the system.
“These attacks are notoriously difficult to trace back to any particular individual or organization because the data is being routed through many third parties,” Ness said.
Ness said the cost to restore services will be calculated later.
LUS Fiber said some customers were able to reactivate their Internet by disconnecting power to the Internet router, waiting 30 seconds, then plugging the router back in.
The utility also said customers can call 99-FIBER for a service representative.