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Foreign hackers made a vigorous but unsuccessful attempt to disrupt San Diego’s massive computer system when the city hosted the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July.
“The hackers were trying to make a statement; the attack began about an hour before the game started and stopped not long after it ended,” said Gary Hayslip, chief information security officer for the city’s Department of Information Technology.
The previously unpublicized assault was waged by hackers who flooded the city’s computers with data requests in a so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which is common on the Internet. Hayslip said the attack slowed computers a bit, but did not affect police services during the game, which was played at Petco Park before a crowd of 42,300 people.
“They targeted the police department, but we were ready for the attack,” Hayslip said.
The city’s computers are attacked about 1 million times a day. Roughly 90 percent of the attacks are low level attempts largely carried out by automated software.
San Diego government has more than 11,000 employees, 14,000 desktop and laptop computers, more than 1,000 cellphones and about 500 tablets.