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City of Columbia’s Official Website Attacked, Again

Iain Farrell

The city of Columbia’s website, gocolumbiamo.com, faced its fourth cyber attack since December on Tuesday morning. The attack took the website down for about an hour. 

Mark Neckerman, the assistant IT director for the city’s website, said that the cause of the attack is unknown.

Neckerman said that people who visited the site during the attack did not have their information stolen. The attack delayed the website’s functioning abilities, and no information was stolen during the attack.

According to Neckerman, the attackers sent illegitimate traffic to the website. This overloaded the website, causing it to become unavailable.

This type of attack is called a distributed denial of service attack, according to Neckerman.

“The attacker will assume the identity of the website - so, in this case, our website - and send a request out to machines out on the Internet, requesting information,” Neckerman said. “Then, those machines will send information toward our website because the attack spoofed, or impersonated, us.”

The website is now available to use, but Neckerman said his department is working toward fixing the minor issues leftover from the attack.

“We’re working on it. We’re doing everything we possibly can to try to mitigate this threat,” Neckerman said.

Neckerman said his department will continue to work to make the website stronger.

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