Lieberman’s Site: Down the Internet Tubes

Lieberman website

As the Lieberman/Lamont race draws to a (possible) end with the primary election today, One of the biggest side-story’s out of the Connecticut Democratic race today seems to be the speculation that either Joe Lieberman’s website was maliciously hacked (or DDoSed), or whether his campaign committed a major blunder and went over bandwidth caps after being slammed by massive election day web traffic.

Either way, Lieberman’s campaign is crying foul, from TPM Muckraker:

Spokesman Dan Gerstein was quick on the draw with a few choice words for Lamont (“The Lamont campaign is once again lying in suggesting we didn’t pay our bill,” he said in less-than-happy tones. “That’s the definition of a lie, when you tell something that’s false knowingly”), a few more choice words for Lamont supporters (“Their supporters are doing these [attacks], we’ve demanded they get them to stop and they refuse to do it”), an almost-accurate comparison to GOP dirty tricks (“It’s despicable, it’s the same kind of tactics Karl Rove and his folks used to jam the phones in New Hampshire in 2000” (it was 2002, and Rove hasn’t been implicated in the scam))

Ned Lamont, challenger for the Democratic nomination, issued a statement on his blog:

Apparently the Lieberman campaign is pushing a story that we have coordinated an attack against their website. Not a chance. Here’s the unqualified statement Sean Smith has called for.

If Senator Lieberman’s website was indeed hacked, we had absolutely no part in it, denounce the action, and urge whoever is responsible cease and desist immediately. It is our sincerest wish that everyone planning to vote for Ned Lamont or Joe Lieberman does so today.

So what’s the problem? Well, Lieberman’s site has been down for 18+ hours now, a good indicator that even if they’ve paid their host by now, and it is indeed a denial of service attack, you probably want to steer away from whoever the hell they’re with because they don’t seem to be able to configure their routers to drop packets from malicious sources.

Then again, someone at Lieberman HQ might still need to whip out the credit card and pay up for some extra bandwidth they didn’t anticipate.

Update: DailyKos points out that none of the other 73 sites hosted on that same server are down. That really kills the credibility of the Lieberman campaign claiming it was a DoS attack.

Update 2: I have to admit, I’m still on the fence on the whole thing. But even on the off chance that some hacker type had located an exploitable script on Lieberman’s site and maliciously messed things up, the fact that his web team took the site completely down (as opposed to putting a one-pager up) for the whole damn day makes them look rather stupid and inept.

Update 3: Firedoglake says this is a case of getting what you pay for. According to Wonkette, three months ago the campaign was in a better boat before cronyism set in (link to post that sparked a possible lawsuit).

8 Comments
  1. DailyKos has an extended report on this. For real candidates and their campaigns, it is highly useful reading. The ‘hacked’ interpretation appears hard to believe.

    A useful lesson might be that if you are running a ten million dollar campaign you might want to spend at least $20 a month on your web server.

  2. Maybe his servers are being run on “Joementum,” a fuel that’s running low in the latest polls.

  3. These politicians are always manufacturing some fake plot supposedly orchestrated by the other side at the last minute.

  4. Maybe they are pulling a Karl Rove. Remember the last minute announcement that his office had been bugged. Days later the FBI said Rove probably bugged his own office, but by then Bush was govenor. Many also later said the last minute hoax may have been what pushed him over the top in the dead het race.

  5. Reply:”Because when you DoS a domain, it takes down its associated server and all of the other domains pointing to it. For about $20-$40 more, Joe could’ve gotten his own private server”(Comment #17387 by Gruff on 8/08 at 4:27 pm;”Daily Kos: “Why Lieberman’s Web Site is Down”, Posted on Aug 8, 2006(www.truthdig.com)). Whatever reason and cause of Joe Lieberman’s server shutdown it was,
    may it be a singular or a distributed denial of service [D]DoS attack, it would have required only
    to restart the server after fixing the alledged
    distributed DoS. With other words exactly that what we must
    do daily in our precious private time and to our own( = NOT public tax payer’s money as the jewish
    Lieberman lobby is since a long time used to) budget; and
    last but not least with our scientific[ = not jewish an christian] knowledge.

    Reference:”l’email a été totalement perturbés et neutralisé”
    par Votez Ned Lamont, U.S. Sénateur, THE DEMOCRATS pour Connecticut ! (IP:xxx.x2.47.54) le 9 août 2006 à 01H44
    “Pour les dernières 24 heures (..)l’email a été totalement perturbés et neutralisé”, les amis du Juif Josef Lieberman, United States Sénateur pour Connecticut, disent.”Nous croyons que c’est le résultat d’une attaque coordonnée par nos adversaires politiques,” le sioniste Sean Smith, secrétaire de Presse du député Juif Josef Lieberman[THE DEMOCRATS] pour la campagne contre Ned Lamont[United States Sénateur-candidat et aussi THE DEMOCRATS pour Connecticut] a dit.

  6. Why is a website suspicious? Maybe the candidate is not tech conscious. Maybe he has ideas that can be expressed in terms other than ISP packets, which don’t always arrive at the same time by the way.

  7. I run a web hosting company and I’m not buying this story. If his site were hacked I’d restore from backups and it would be online in 10 minutes. Someone should call the hosting company and see what they have to say about it.