San Jose

Hackers Flood San Jose Web Servers, Cripple City Websites

City of San Jose websites returned online Tuesday, officials said.

Recovering from a days-long cyber-attack, San Jose’s city-operated websites returned online Tuesday.

Still unidentified hackers sparked the problem Thursday, triggering intermittent disruptions, which was repaired by IT specialists.

The city’s web servers were deliberately flooded with an overwhelming number of access requests, causing the so-called denial-of-service attack, according to San Jose officials.

"I think it's a wake-up call for everybody," San Jose city spokesman David Vossbrink said.

The San Jose Police Department’s home page also suffered from a lengthy outage during what is called a "denial of service attack," overwhelming the website from the outside so residents could not use it.

But hackers could potentially get access to what is inside the website.

"When it comes to cities there's a lot of information, said Steve Pao of Barracuda Networks, a Campbell-based company specializing in security and data protection solutions. "Parks and rec departments have information not only on citizens, but citizen's children."

Barracuda Networks also sells cyber security solutions to cities. In the case of San Jose, the early word is that the break turned out to be more of an annoyance than a real threat.

"As far as we know no real damage to our systems," Vossbrink said. "Nothing affected security."

The hacker group Anonymous similarly targeted Oakland’s city websites last year.

Contact Us