Cyber attack knocks out maine.gov again — hacker group claims responsibility

For the second time in as many days, Maine’s official government website, maine.gov, was the subject of a denial-of-service cyber attack on Tuesday.

The effect of such attacks is to make the targeted website inaccessible to all users. In other words, maine.gov was knocked offline.

The site was first attacked by an anonymous group on Monday. On Twitter, a user named Vikingdom2015, claiming to be a hacker group in Russia, claimed responsibility for the attack, though that claim has not yet been verified.

Maine.gov was once again knocked offline around 8 a.m. Tuesday. A spokesmen for the state’s administrative department, which includes IT services, tells me the website had been subjected to the same kind of attack as Monday’s.

Vikingdom2015 once again claimed responsibility on Tuesday.

On Monday, the group posted audio claiming it would “knock all American government websites offline.” When asked by a Maine journalist on Twitter why it was targeting Maine, the tweeter said “no reason.”

A denial-of-service attack is a crude tool used mostly for disruption. The attack overload servers that host the targeted website with external data requests, preventing others from opening the website.

Alex Willette, spokesman for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, said that so far, the state has not been able to identify the source of the attacks. He said Tuesday’s attack began around 7 a.m.. As of 10 a.m., he said, state IT employees were still trying to stop the external requests so the website could function normally.

Intermittent access will be available as IT seeks to stop the attacks, Willette said.

“The important thing to note is that this was in no way a security breach, and we currently have no evidence to suggest that any personal information has been compromised,” he said, echoing statements made after Monday’s attack.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.