Bar Exam

Cyberattack led to state's delayed online bar exam, software provider says

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A testing delay with Michigan’s online bar exam was caused by the outside provider experiencing a distributed denial of service attack, the state supreme court's communications director announced Tuesday evening.

The problem, which software provider ExamSoft described in a tweet as “a sophisticated attack specifically aimed at the login process,” started July 28 at 8:55 a.m. Central Standard Time.

No data was compromised in the cyberattack, an ExamSoft representative told Bloomberg Law. However, some test-takers were rattled.

“I felt much less in the zone,” Kerry Martin, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, told Bloomberg Law.

The test’s first module was completed with no issues, and the password problems started with the second module, wrote John Nevin, communications director of the Michigan Supreme Court’s office of public information, in a statement released by email Tuesday evening. The statement described the problem as a “short delay for some applicants.”

Applicants affected by the password issue received additional time to complete the module, according to the statement. It noted that 733 people took and finished what was likely “the first online bar exam in the nation,” according to the statement.

Additionally, the Michigan Board of Law Examiners plans to investigate the cyberattack, determine whether it had an impact on test-takers, and report its findings to the state supreme court.

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