CAO to investigate cause of website crash

An investigation is to be carried out into why the website of the Central Applications Office crashed earlier today.

It happened as tens of thousands of students were trying to log on to the site to view their first round offers of college places.

The CAO believes it was caused by a malicious attack on the website, which has been restored and is accessible.

Please find below a statement from Joseph O’Grady, Operations Manager of the CAO.

"Access to the CAO website was affected because of a malicious attack from an unknown source this morning," said a CAO statement.

"The CAO website was available intermittently between 6.10 am and 1 pm today when the problem was resolved by CAO technical staff. The system is being monitored 24 hours a day to ensure continuity of online services.

"More than 23,000 online acceptances were recorded by the end of day (5.15pm) despite these problems with the website’s availability. Last year, 22,000 acceptances were made by the end of the first day with over 95% of acceptances made online.

"We would like to thank students and parents for their patience today. People concerned about accepting an offer online today can log in to the ’My Application’ section of the CAO website over the coming days to confirm their acceptance has been recorded.

"Acceptances can be also be made by post. There is plenty of time for applicants to accept their offer as the deadline for acceptances is Monday August 30 at 5.15pm. Offers should be accepted either online or by post, not both.

"At the moment, our priority is to process offers and acceptances on behalf of students and the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). We plan to conduct a full investigation into this attack in due course."


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