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Home schooling, why such a fiasco?

Bis repetita just over a year apart. Confinement requires, the students have lessons at home. And the infrastructures are struggling to keep up. Tuesday April 6, for the first day of distance learning, major malfunctions prevented many schoolchildren, college and high school students from accessing their ENT (digital workspace) or the platforms of the Cned (National Center of distance learning) allowing the exchange of documents and video lessons.

On Wednesday April 7, the situation improved, but slowdowns were still to be deplored and the Cned was the subject of “New malicious acts”, according to the Ministry of National Education.

→ EXPLANATION. School at home, hiccups in the avalanche

Jean-Michel Blanquer had already mentioned Tuesday a very strong computer attack from abroad ” against this public establishment dependent on the ministry. “It’s out of the ordinary in terms of volume and operating mode; we have had 30 attacks since 9:01 a.m. on Tuesday, reveals Michel Reverchon-Billot, Director General of Cned. We have the impression that they are recomposed like a mutating virus, with the aim of bringing down the platforms. These attacks combined with a high volume of connection resulted in a service disruption on Tuesday, but the traffic is completely fluid this Wednesday afternoon. “

Ongoing investigation

The Cned lodged a complaint and an investigation was opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office on Wednesday. Michel Reverchon-Billot denounces attacks by ” denied service ” (“DDos”), which consist in rendering a site unusable by sending it a very large number of requests.

I am surprised that people are bent on ensuring that students are deprived of schools, it is heartbreaking and worrying ”, he laments. The National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi) confirms that it “Follow the situation” up close for “Prevent attacks from having an impact” on services.

Nicolas Arpagian, cybersecurity specialist (1), identifies three types of DDos attacks: “Those which are based on agitprop, which supposes a claim: there is none for the moment. The villainous activity, which demands a ransom: this is not the case. Or the diversion: mobilize everyone on an attack to take advantage of the organized bazaar. “

Communities singled out

At the same time, the digital workspaces of several regions – managed by local authorities – also suffered failures on Tuesday. The problems come from “Providers concerned in these regions which have encountered technical difficulties due to the severe overload of infrastructure”, according to the ministry, Tuesday.

→ DEBATE. Home lessons, has the school progressed?

Before the senators on Wednesday, Jean-Michel Blanquer hit the nail on the head, questioning the responsibility of communities: “What did not work are the pipes, which are not the competence of national education. This is the responsibility of regions and departments. “


In Hauts-de-France, a region affected by dysfunctions, “More than a million connections” were observed simultaneously on Tuesday, says Manoëlle Martin (LR), regional vice-president in charge of high schools. ” The initial vocation of the ENT was not to provide remote classes but only to replace the textbook “, She defends, announcing a” rise in power “To counter the problems of” flux “.

In this region, the Open Digital Education platform is in charge of the ENTs. Esther Baumard, Director of Operations, describes a “ too large spike of users who have tried to connect at the same time at 8 o’clock, which saturated the platforms and generated a chain effect “. For the rest, it will be necessary that ” connections spread better over the morning She warns.

Bugs and slowdowns were still observed on Wednesday. On the side of the unions, we castigate a “ unpreparedness ” of State : ” The minister has always said that schools will not be closed. This did not encourage decision-makers in the rectorates to think about upgrading capacities. », Denounces Gwenaël Le Paih, SNES-FSU. Thursday, when the number of connections will be greater than Wednesday, will be particularly scrutinized.


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