Baltimore City government website knocked offline

News by Doug Drinkwater

Baltimore City Government's website was knocked offline temporarily by a denial-of-service attack on Tuesday 28 April, with hactivism group AnonCyberMafia claiming responsibility.

The website was apparently down for a limited time, according to threat intelligence company Digital Shadows, with the hacking group claiming responsibility by pointing to a status checker website indicating the website's unavailability. The UK firm did say, however, that the status checker website is considered ‘unreliable' and thus it's not known how successful the attack was or what size it was. The firm did confirm though that an attack had been launched against the website.

“As such, the attack may or may not have been successful, and if the website was unavailable, it was so for an indeterminate period of time. It is also worth noting that at the time of publication of the incident, as well as at present, the website was functioning correctly.”

Since Wednesday afternoon, the website has been back and remains fully functioning.

“Based on our analysis of the group and its previous attacks against a variety of targets, AnonCyberMafia appears to seize high-profile events to opportunistically post claims of its rudimentary capabilities in order to gain credibility,” said a spokesperson for Digital Shadows, which provides a managed service which monitors over 80 million information sources in 26 languages.

“While we are unsure of the group's motives, and whether this particular attack was successful, we expect the group to continue to claim to target other organisations during major events to gain credibility.”

This marks the second cyber-attack in the wake of the Baltimore riots, with Anonymous Saudi launching DoS attacks against several sites relating to Baltimore on April 27.

Despite repeated requests for comment, Baltimore City government and the Mayor's Office of Technology did not return our calls or emails.


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