The House of Representatives is investigating the hacking of as
many as 49 websites of Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and while they do, those sites are being listed as "under mantenance."
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) — the House’s
technological maintainer and adviser — informed affected members that
the Information Systems Security Office is looking into the matter, and officials expect to hold a meeting late Thursday afternoon to look at what
course of action the House should take toward the hackings.
The sites were hacked Wednesday night after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, according to the offices of several affected lawmakers.
As of mid-morning Thursday, several websites were down for maintenance,
including those of Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.),
Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), Spencer Bachus
(R-Ala.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and Brian Baird (D-Wash.).
unclear how many sites had been affected by hackers and how many had
been taken down for maintenance as a precaution, but users attempting to visit a hacked site are now greeted with the message shown here, "This site is
undergoing maintenance. Please check back soon."
No indication is
given of exactly whose site the user is attempting to access.
The CAO is working with GovTrends to get the sites back online. GovTrends oversees the maintenance of about 100 member sites and is one of a few outside technological specialists approved by the CAO.
Hunter's office said they have still to hear from GovTrends as to the extent of the damage to the site and they have been given no indication as to when their site will be back up and running normally.
GovTrends does not put the affected websites back online within the
next several hours, the CAO is planning to insert "placeholders" on to
the sites that detail the member office's contact information and which
site users are attempting to view, according to CAO spokesman Jeff
Many of the
affected lawmakers’ websites have fallen victim to hackers in the past.
Last August nearly a dozen websites of members were hacked and defaced
due to what their site host, GovTrends, said were uncomplex password
Wilson’s site experienced an overwhelming
amount of traffic after Obama’s first address to a joint session of
Congress last year, when the lawmaker’s shout of “You lie!” landed him
in the national spotlight. The burst in traffic caused the site to go
down overnight, and while it was back up and running the next morning,
it was operating on a bare-bones template.
GovTrends founder Ab Emam did not immediately return calls requesting comment.