Malicious attack downs Owen Sound Web sites

The city of Owen Sound has shut down its Web servers last week, following reports from residents that the city’s Web sites was directing visitors to pornographic sites.

The problem, which began February 2, caused authorities the following day to shut down the sites including the city’s main Web site as well as sites for police services, tourism, library and the art gallery.

The sites went up again last Wednesday, but were shut down once more on Thursday, according to a report from the Owen Sound Sun Times. The city’s main site and the tourism site receive at least 1,500 hits each day. Officials said they have no idea how many visitors have been redirected to porn sites.

Early today, the main site still had the message: “Websites on the Owen Sound web server have been temporarily taken off line for maintenance.”

The message page showed contact information for the city hall, police, fire and emergency services, tourism, libraries and the art gallery.

“This is not a virus that our IT is dealing with,” Mayor Deb Haswell was quoted in the Owen Sound Times. “It is an advanced attack on our Web server.”

The city is working with a firm that specializes in security issues to rectify the problem, she said.

Nickednamed the Scenic City, the Southwestern Ontario city of Owen Sound has a population of 21,753 located in the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers on an inlet of Georgian Bay. It used to be a busy port city.

Doug Edgar, editor of the Sun Times, said that this is not the first time the city’s servers have had problems.

“The site has been down several times in the past for other problems,” he said.

City officials have no idea why Owen Sound was targeted but agreed that the city has never had to deal with an attack of this magnitude, according to Wayne Ritchie, director of financial services for the city.

He said email services have not been affected and that the city may be more active on Facebook and Twitter until the problem is fixed.

Haswell estimates it will take another 10 to 14 days until the sites are operational again.

Read the whole story here



Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now