Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

October 31, 2012

City site falls prey to European cyber attack

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Eastern European hackers cracked the website of this Northern Michigan city, causing it to repeatedly crash and using it as a platform to blast hundreds of thousands of email messages.

The cyber attacks from an unknown source spanned two months from August through mid-October. They took the form of distributed denial of service attacks, in which hundreds of computers are organized - often without their owners' knowledge - to overwhelm a specific website with requests, causing it to crash.

A consultant hired to address that problem discovered the city's site was also used to launch hundreds of thousands of fraudulent emails. City officials aren't sure if the messages were used as spam or to attack another website.

The city maintains its internal computers separately, so the web attacks did not affect confidential information such as credit card payments, said assistant city manager Makala Vitous.

The attacks began after the person who maintained the city's website left the job, and the position went unfilled due to budget constraints.


Details for this story were reported by The Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Text Only
Sister Newspapers' News
Sister Newspaper Columns
AP Editor's Picks Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
National and World