Feds Blackout Internet Services in Californian State to Tackle Hacking

An infected Website from Marin County, Calif., instigated the US government to closedown all Websites temporarily run by the state government for the time being early in October 2007.

In September 2007, the site of the Marin County's transportation authority was allegedly attacked to divert visitors to a pornography site. After numerous failed efforts to resolve the problem locally, the federal government decided to closedown all sites under that domain for appraisal - an unexpected and surprising act that put state services into total confusion.

It's still in ambiguity how the hacking of a local county site induced the federal officials to abruptly put an end to the state's total Internet activity.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's representative Aaron McLear informed that they have eventualities for such matters, as reported by Tech.Blorge on October 5, 2007.

Beginning with a series of incidents, which certain technical experts deemed noteworthy, the problem snowballed when the Marin County's transportation authority site was attacked, alleged Jim Hanacek, the state Department of Technology Services' representative, as reported by Signonsandiego on October 3, 2007.

According to SCMagazineUS' report on October 4, 2007, California Department of Technology Services' representative Jim Hanacek alleged that the cyber-terrorist evidently altered the Domain Name System (DNS) server to redirect several visitors.

The closedown action did not succeed, and there weren't any news of state services being disrupted, he told. Hanacek's division cross-checked with vital departments like the state Highway Patrol, which informed that although tardily, but its Internet and email services were running. The state announced the normal resumption of all services by 10:30 p.m. EST on October 2, 2007.

Kaspersky Lab's Senior Technical Consultant, Shane Coursen, reiterated to TechNewsWorld that the manner in which the affair was handled was not a standard procedure or greatest security procedure. The main quality of an event response handler is to remain calm. Closing down like that is not an intelligent decision.

Apart from the security problems of an unexpectedly shutdown of state Internet and the trouble to users who liked to communicate with the state government via the Internet, total shutdown forewarned the concerned cyber-terrorists, asserted Coursen. One can only damage precious forensic proof this way, without learning anything from this incident.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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