Thursday, July 3, 2008

Press Herald Hacked

As if the Press Herald didn't already have enough problems.
"A computer attack described as a “simplistic hack” caused the Web site of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and 10 affiliated sites to crash, making them only intermittently available for more than five days, company officials said Wednesday.

“It broke our traffic management tool,” causing the servers that manage the sites to overload, said President and General Manager Rob Bickler. The problem was discovered Thursday night and continued as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.

“I heard it was a real simplistic hack,” Bickler said. But because the traffic management tool was broken, the volume of incoming visitors overloaded the system, he said.

The sites average about 10 million page views a month, according to Dan Dinsmore, director of

To fix the problem, technicians replaced a hardware switch Wednesday night at the warehouse in Massachusetts where the company’s servers are housed. In addition, company technicians and an outside contractor have been rewriting sections of software code that were destroyed by the attack.

Some of the newly written code has provided a temporary, partial fix to the problem, Bickler said.

The sites, which were initially completely inaccessible to viewers, now appear, but they are very slow to load, he said."
- Portland Press Herald

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