A Friday afternoon cyberattack on NextLight, Longmont’s high-speed, fiber optic broadband internet service, affected a number of customers but has been resolved by NextLight engineers, Longmont Power and Communications reported in a Facebook post Friday.
Longmont Power and Communications spokesman Scott Rochat wrote in an email that the disruption was the result of a a DDoS, or “distributed denial of service” attack. He said that is “an attempt to overwhelm the traffic for a particular customer or network, striking from multiple sources at once.
“In this case, it was launched against one of our larger customers,” Rochat said, but he said state law did not allow him to share that customer’s name.
He said it had “a subsidiary effect on some of our other customers, slowing down or otherwise affecting service.”
About 4,000 customers may have experienced slowed or degraded service as a result of the attack, but no customer data was exposed to the attacker and NextLight’s network engineers resolved the issue in about 15 to 20 minutes.
Rochat said the Friday cyberattack affecting NextLight was not like a July ransomware attack on Lafayette’s city computer system, one that disabled the network services. Lafayette officials paid $45,000 to retrieve the key to unlock the encrypted data.
The sorts of attacks like the one against NextLight “are extremely common for any ISP (internet service provider,)” Rochat said. “In a given day, there may be as many as 10 attacks against NextLight customers that our systems automatically counter, allowing service to continue undisturbed.”
He said NextLight itself will not be contacting law enforcement about the cyberattack but that customers may, if they so choose. He said that because of the distributed nature of the attack, these sorts of incidents are often very difficult for law enforcement to follow up on.
Longmont has advised any NextLight customers still experiencing service issues to call the system’s support team at 303-774-4494.