Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
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Police & Fire

Northwood's Web site back in operation after it was hacked

The official Web site for the city of Northwood was hacked twice in recent days but city officials said no internal files were compromised and the site is back in operation.

“It's not our server. It was a company we work with. Nothing inside the offices was hacked into,” said Northwood Police Chief Thomas S. Cairl.

The site was hacked both Friday and Sunday by someone claiming to be affiliated with the Anonymous hacking group, angered by the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The act, which passed 248-168, would allow the federal government to work with companies to fight cyber-criminals. The Senate has not discussed the measure yet. 

Chief Cairl said the Northwood site was first hacked into sometime on Friday.

“My dispatcher happened to see it and told me about it,” he said. The site featured a sign that read, “This site is going blackout on April 22, Stop C.I.S.P.A. We Want Internet Freedom.”

Chief Cairl said it is important to remind residents that no information was tampered with.

“I want to ensure you that our own system was not hacked here at the city and we had our own IT people confirm that there were no intrusions,” he said.

Kathy Reno, Web site coordinator for the city, said the site is on a server that WebArt, a Web design and Web development agency, uses. The company builds the city's site and also makes updates.

She said she was notified when the site went down both times and the company was quick to get it back up and working.

“I was notified yesterday that they hacked it again, so I contacted the company again and this morning it was back up,” she said Monday.

Ms. Reno said the benefit that the site is not operated on the city's server helped keep internal information safe.

She said the city is working with WebArt and if the host company can let the city know any details about who hacked into the site, charges will be filed.

“We will do that if they come up with any names for us,” Ms. Reno said.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-724-6522 or on Twitter @KMcBlade.

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