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Routt County: Government Site Hacked, Personal and Sensitive Information Safe

Routt County

Around 10:30 pm on Friday, March 12th, 2010, the Routt County systems administrator sent out an e-mail to county employees, notifying them that the government website had been hacked and warning them to be aware that sensitive information could have gotten into the wrong hands.

All Clear

Although the county’s information systems were accessed during the incident which involved hackers posting messages and logo’s on the county’s public website, absolutely no personal or sensitive information was found to have been accessed. County officials and others whose information is contained within these files can breathe a sigh of relief. The all clear has been sounded, and all information is, indeed, still safe and secure.

Kid Stuff

The hacking incident was really nothing more than kid stuff; a dumb prank. The hackers were able to place a logo of a two-headed eagle, some kind of moniker that read “Road_Killer,” and some expletives referring to both Russia and Serbia. There was also a direct message to the Routt County officials that read “Admin Please Change Your Password, And Patch Your Bugs Don’t Be Stupid.”

This is not the first website to experience this exact same thing, including similar messages directed to the owners of the websites. While it is certainly an annoyance and inconvenience, as well as a disturbing incident, there really is no threat. Sure, the words placed on the site were not exactly kind, but the agenda of these hackers is not to compromise any information, but to show that it can be done. Their disservice, might, in fact, be a kind service in disguise. The County can now change their password, as suggested and beef up their site security to prevent future events such as this one or something even worse.

Who’s Responsible?

It isn’t entirely clear, however one group claiming credit for the incident is the Kosova Hackers Group. They have also claimed past responsibility for hacking incidents into prominent sites in of a handful of Eastern European countries. The two-headed eagle happens to be the national symbol of Albania, and the hacking incident involved a reference to the “United States of Albania.”

A Collective sigh of Relief

Essentially, the hackers simply overrode the website’s code. This allowed them to access design and text elements. while no sensitive information was accessed, the county assures the employees and the public that all information housed on this particular server is information that is already publicly available, such as voting records. All information that is considered sensitive is housed on another server and requires a log-in process for access. This log-in process is safe and secure and only accessible y those who are authorized to do so.

A police report had not been filed and the county was continuing to look into the event. Officials say that they are fairly certain that the hacking originated outside of the U.S. They hope to make web improvements, but have seen their budget proposals fail time and again over the last few years.

One can only hope that those improvements can and will be made soon. While the county does not see this as a serious incident, what about the next time?

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    One Response to “Routt County: Government Site Hacked, Personal and Sensitive Information Safe”

    1. LLu says:

      This is one of the things that seems to be showing up a lot recently. With the rate that technology advances, it can be hard for companies or government entities to keep up with hackers.

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