THE CENTRAL APPLICATIONS OFFICE (CAO) website has crashed this morning due to a Direct Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack.

The attack, originating from an unidentified source, means that the CAO website is being deliberately bombarded with traffic from a malicious source, rendering the site unable to handle traffic from legitimate student users looking to view the list of points required for Round 1 CAO offers, or to accept college places.

Copies of the CAO points list have been made and can be accessed here. The CAO says that it has already processed about 8,000 acceptances of the 48,000 college offers it offered this morning, and that its website will be back online by lunchtime.

When potential college-goers do get to view their points, they will see a marked increase in the points required for many courses across the country – and particularly in UCD.

The undergraduate Science course points stand at 435 – up a full 50 points on last year – while Arts, the largest undergrad course in Ireland, is up 5 to 365.

Points for Medicine have risen to 725 – meaning that students will need to have received 550 Leaving Cert points, and have scored 175 out of a possible 300 on the HPAT aptitude test. The demand for other medical and paramedical courses has also increased, with Physiotherapy up to 535 and Radiography to 525.

Overall, the points required for entry to UCD courses have risen in 56 cases.

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