MANSFIELD — Local schools were hit this week with a cyberattack, officials say.

Comcast confirmed Wednesday that Mansfield public schools have been the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack.

It’s a malicious and illegal attempt to disrupt normal traffic on a network by sending a flood of Internet traffic, Superintendent Teresa Murphy told staff and families.

“It can be compared to an unexpected traffic jam preventing regular traffic from arriving at its destination or to a crowd of people trying to enter a home through a single door which prevents the owner from getting in,” Murphy said.

The attacks began Monday and have continued intermittently since then, the superintendent added.

Comcast has implemented mitigation measures to help manage the problem and identify and block malicious traffic and allow regular traffic to flow through.

“While this attack is certainly not good news, now that the problem has been identified we can begin to move forward,” Murphy said.

School officials have been working with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and learned Mansfield is not the only school district in Massachusetts to have experienced this type of technology attack in the past few weeks.

“I know that this disruption has been a challenge and has caused stress for our students and staff. Our entire team is working closely with Comcast and the DESE to resolve this,” Murphy said.

School officials were planning for a regular school day Thursday, with some students learning from home while others will be in school.

“Comcast will continue to monitor and support our system and we are hopeful that the intermittent internet issues will be resolved,” Murphy said.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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