Lieberman’s Campaign Website Hacked?

Via The Hotline:

According to Lieberman’s campaign communications director, Marion Steinfels, “Yep, we’ve been hacked.”

“There’s a coordinated effort to overloaded our bandwith and that has brought down our website and our e-mail,” she said. The attack began around mid-morning, she said.

Steinfels said the company that hosts the campaign website is investigating. It’s the third time the site was broken into; it’s the second time within a month.

Lieberman opponents might suggest that the Lieberman campaign forgot to pay its bill; Steinfels says that’s totally untrue. Or that the campaign is responsible for adding content that crashed the site. But the campaign didn’t add any significant new content.

There’s no evidence at all that anyone associated with challenger Ned Lamont‘s campaign had anything to do with the mischief.

One theory we’ll throw out: the site has been hacked to make it appear as if the Lieberman campaign, running against the Netroots’ candidate, forgot to pay its website bill. On the eve of the election. That’s a theory.

If the Lieberman campaign did forget to pay its bills… well, it’s a major ninth inning error. [original emphasis]

About an hour later, The Hotline updates in another post and notes that the Lamont campaign has commented on Lieberman’s site problems:

Tim Tagaris, Ned Lamont’s online strategist, is skeptical that Lieberman’s blog was hacked.

    I post because Marion Steinfels is running around proclaiming that someone hacked her site. This isn’t the first time they haven’t paid their bills, it happened when the stupid bear-cub ad ran and Sean Smith bragged all the traffic (from people mocking the ad) crashed their site. Same notice.

We’re not sure. The site has been down since midmorning. If the Lieberman campaign had wanted to pay its bill (provided that was the problem) it would have. Or Smith would have forked over the $500 personally to keep it up.

To be judicious, it’s possible that the Lieberman campaign has committed a ninth inning error.

Or there’s some double-jujitsu dance a-foot, wherein the Lieberman staff deliberately fakes a hack and lies, deliberately and openly and baldly, to journalists about it.

We’re getting in contact with the company that hosts Lieberman’s blog, and we’ll let you know what we find out. [original emphasis]

And here’s the message posted over at as of this writing:


I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, so I’m reserving comment for now. All the possible explanations for this seem to have been covered by The Hotline. But this is definitely an interesting 11th hour development.

Stay tuned.

[hat tip: Instapundit]

UPDATE: This screencap doesn’t bode well for team Lieberman.

UPDATE: Lieberman’s campaign website is now completely down.


UPDATE: Via K-Lo at The Sixers:

Stephen Spruiell just talked to Lieberman’s communications director who says their website and email is down again. She made clear they consider it an attack — now two attacks — not a matter of Lieberman accounting oversights.. According to Lieberman’s spokesman, Lamont’s campaign has been asked to post a “play nice” message on its website.

UPDATE (James Joyner): I should note that the screencap about failure to pay one’s hosting bills is not necessarily an indication that Camp Lieberman forgot to pay their bills. OTB went down toward the end of my dealings with HostingMatters and visitors got a nearly identical message for several hours that day. The problem was that the site was executing too many processes and overwhelming my shared hosting account, not a lack of payment on my part. Apparently, it’s the default error message they use.

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Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,


  1. Len says:


    They forgot to pay the bill.


    Must everything be a conspiracy?

  2. walter66 says:

    who was the GOP operative that jammed phone lines in the NE somewhere? I heard the rnc spent a lot of dough on his legal bills.

  3. jcrue says:

    i’ll bite.

    it could be a great ‘net political ploy.

    hose web site. generate buzz on election eve.

    generate enough ‘blog whispers’ to turn peoples’ heads.

    post simple graphic reminding them of candidate’s honorable service to his state and his party.

    remind voters what nut bags the Kossacks et al. really are and who they are behind.

    of course, i could be wrong.

    GO JOE!!!

  4. Bithead says:

    Well, here’s an idea;
    Joe’s on a pay-go site.
    If this is understod, how much would it take to get the site over it’s bandwidth limit?

    Not a great deal.
    Note the speed with which the Lamont campaign jumped on the issue. Almost as if they knew it was going to happen….

  5. jwb says:

    Maybe Lieberman should spring for better hosting? Just a thought. Even if it wasn’t a high-profile race, every website is subject to denial of service attacks.