Hackers hit Maine government website

A cyberattack briefly felled Maine’s government website on Monday, taking the site offline for several hours.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap described the hit as a denial-of-service (DDOS) attack, when hackers flood a website with false traffic to block its use by normal visitors. The site was back online by midday Monday.

{mosads}Maine officials did not guess at the hackers’ identity but said cyberattacks against government sites are common. The website for Oklahoma City was under similar attack for several days in a row last week.

The union for members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was also knocked offline over the weekend in a hit that one official attributed to Anonymous.

So-called DDOS attacks are common as political messaging tools within some hacker communities. Anonymous has criticized the NYPD for violence against city residents and, at one time, Occupy Wall Street protesters, for example.

Neither the Maine nor the NYPD union websites contained personal information worth stealing, the managers said.


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