Lieberman’s Campaign Manager On Website Problems (Video)
Sen. Lieberman’s campaign manager Sean Smith was just on FOX News to talk about the website troubles that have plagued the Lieberman campaign since yesterday morning and, according to Smith, the Lieberman campaign is taking this very seriously: the campaign has asked for an investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General and the United States Attorney’s Office. Smith also likens this to the Republican phone jamming scandal in New Hampshire in 2002 in which “jail terms were handed down.”
So, to state the obvious, all that seems like one hell of a bluff by the Lieberman camp if they simply forgot to pay their bills as alleged by the Lamont campaign. And that’s not to mention the following letter from Lieberman’s internet consultant Dan Geary (via TPMmuckraker) alleging foul play as well:
When I first posted about this last night, the details were incredibly sketchy and I didn’t want to point fingers. But at this point, it seems very likely that this was the deliberate work of someone determined to derail the Lieberman campaign on the eve of the Democratic primary.
UPDATE: More via Paul Keil at TPMmuckraker:
I just got off the phone with the internet consultant to Joe Lieberman’s campaign, Dan Geary. And he says that the site has been “fatally compromised” by an unknown hacker. In addition, all email addresses with the Joe2006.com domain are down too; the attack, Geary says, has “disrupted the entire campaign.”
Geary, who developed and oversees Lieberman’s site, Joe2006.com (and says that the campaign has paid their account in full), said that an attack starting mid-morning yesterday had “red-lined” the server. “We can’t even get the site up,” he said. “We even tried putting up a single, blank page. It red-lined the entire network. This guy’s got our number.”
Geary said that they believed it to be a “denial of service” attack, meaning there are so many queries to the network that it becomes unstable. He did not have any information as to the source of the attack or any idea about the identity of the hacker. “We’re just fighting to get something live,” he said, “we’re not security experts.” He also said that it would be up to the campaign as to whether they would refer the case to the FBI.
This was not the first time that the site was attacked. Earlier, a hacker “got through one of the functions on the site,” Geary said. The hacker then did a “SQL injection,” ultimately replacing the index page. The front page of the site then read “We ownz you site.” It was signed “thhacker.”
But yesterday’s and today’s was a different kind of attack. Whoever the hacker is “saved the best until the last day,” Geary said.
UPDATE (James Joyner): I should note that a redirect to an “Account suspended – Please contact site host” page is apparently fairly typical. 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.
UPDATE (James Joyner): Commenter Len points to Kos‘ post saying that Lieberman’s site was “paying $15/month for hosting at a place called MyHostCamp, with a bandwidth limit of 10GB. MyHostCamp is currently down, along with all their clients.” I don’t know what his source is for this information but it strikes me as quite plausible, as that was essentially the problem OTB was having with HostingMatters.
Most blogs and campaign sites can get by with that kind of hosting about 360 days of the year with no problems whatsoever but, if you simply have to be up, then you have to go with a dedicated server. OTB did that quite some time ago and, if present trends continue, will likely have to upgrade to a substantially more expensive one before long. Kos say he spends over $7000 a month on hosting, which is simply mindboggling.