UPDATE: Website of Group Organizing Recall Back Online After Cyberattack

United Wisconsin says Monday's attack was "coordinated and deliberate."

Updated at 8:35 p.m. Monday to indicate that site is back online.

Just hours before the official start of the drive to , the group spearheading the effort said that its website was the victim of a cyberattack on Monday.

United Wisconsin, the group working with the Wisconsin Democratic Party in the effort to recall Walker, said Monday evening that its website went down at about 2 p.m. The site was back online about six hours later.

"Early this afternoon, United Wisconsin's website www.unitedwisconsin.com, was the victim of a cyber attack. Our web team reports that this attack was coordinated and deliberate its target," the organization said in a statement.

The FBI and the Wisconsin attorney general's office has been asked to investigate, the group said.

"Clearly, this was done to deny the people of Wisconsin access to the materials we are providing for the Walker recall efforts. The attack, what is known as a Distributed Denial of Service Attack, flooded our servers at approximately 2 p.m. At this time the source of this attack is not fully known.

"Despite these efforts to stifle the voice of the people, United Wisconsin and its partners are not shaken. The efforts to recall Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch are continuing as planned," the group said.

The website crash came just as United Wisconsin embarks on the daunting task of collecting more than 500,000 signatures within 60 days in an effort to force a recall election.

“If Scott Walker and the Republican Party are really concerned with protecting the integrity of the recall process, they will immediately condemn the criminal cyber attack on United Wisconsin’s website and call on Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to launch a full investigation with the assistance of the FBI," the state Democratic Party said in a statement Monday night.

“The laws of Wisconsin and the United States were clearly broken tonight in a desperate and illegal attempt to stifle the voice of the people by denying access to Wisconsinites seeking important information on how they can join our grassroots effort to recall Scott Walker," the party said. "The criminals that launched this attack must be apprehended."

At 8 p.m. Monday, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued a statement saying it "does not condone or support any misconduct or foul play by any outside groups or rogue individuals to interfere with the recall process."

The Democratic Party said that while its website was fully operational Monday,  "our online vendors have been notified of the attack on United Wisconsin’s website and are actively monitoring our servers for suspicious activity."

Alice Wilson-Fried November 15, 2011 at 04:27 AM
We all know that these guys play dirty. They have all along.
Tonto November 15, 2011 at 04:32 AM
Remember the Main! ..........what a joke :(
Steve November 15, 2011 at 05:29 AM
Michigan would. You guys are in such a fine state with no financial problems at all. Democrats have made you the poster child of fine leadership and good sound judgment.
Steve November 15, 2011 at 05:33 AM
Or the dems are really bad at the internet. Do you have proof to back your claim?
mark scoular November 15, 2011 at 05:45 AM
I'm sure this came from the Koch bot-blogger farm in China. They have used this technique before
Scott November 15, 2011 at 08:03 AM
@Steve, even though Bush wasn't the brightest, there are people like Cheney and others in the administration that were not. Not that I think 911 was an inside job (I thiunk it was more incompetence than conspiracy). It is very possible for the brains behind anything to use a less than brilliant puppet as their front man. Also, you cons have done your share of speculation and unfounded claims.
Scott November 15, 2011 at 08:06 AM
@Steve, like you are an expert on the state of Michigan. Ever live there? I've lived in both MI and WI and can tell you that there is plenty of blame to go around for both parties for the problems each state faces.
TechnoCrat November 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM
This is in reply to James Hoffa's comments. .A DDoS consumes all of a server's bandwidth thereby obstructing communication between intended users and the victim site. There is no doubt that the web team of United Wisconsin, along with the professionals that they brought in after the fact would be able to identify this attack as a DDoS rather than a failure of equipment or the failure of the server/s of their web site. Further, Mr. Hoffa, not only did this organization NOT accuse anyone or any entity of committing this attack, their statement was quite clear in saying that they did not know who committed the DDos. To insinuate that this group accused anyone is a flat-out fabrication. There is no way that taking their website off-line for six hours before their efforts were to be launched at midnight, and then fabricating a DDoS occurred would benefit the victims in the least! Your defense of their opposition is unwarranted, however it does raise big, red flags as to why you feel the need to defend anyone. Because you have the capability to post crap on a website does not make you capable of understanding the technicalities of a DDoS and the harm that is done by such an attack. You say "We need to know more about this before assuming anything!" The only thing we need to know, Mr. Hoffa, is why you are so quick to jump to the defense of the opposition when clearly there is no need to do so?
jeremy g November 15, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Nice flag. You have no idea what it means. I would be curious to know what you think you could possibly do to make anyone's job more difficult that would only be classified as "civil disobedience" and not a felony... Everyone knows that there are those who plan to stifle the voice of the people by collecting signatures and tossing them. That is not civil disobedience. Take another look at yer little yellow flag and take some time to THINK about what it stands for. If patriots then took the tack that you (who I am sure considers yourself a 'patriot') are taking now we would all speak with a British accent. Just sayin'...
Bob McBride November 15, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Since his post is gone it's hard to say exactly what you're getting all uptight about here, but I do note that you didn't bother contradicting any of the nonsense that came before this post from those who support the recall. If you can't zero in on any of that yourself, I'll be happy to point it out for you. BTW, as I'm sure you know, DDoS attacks can and have been launched by 12 year olds. It's not exactly rocket science in this day and age. Speculating on who did it at this point is ridiculous.
Bill November 15, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Who says the server even went down? Smells like a put up job to me. If it did go down, the Dems probably did it themselves to solicit sympathy for an obviously going-nowhere campaign. Walker's the best thing that ever happened to Wisconsin!
Bob McBride November 15, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Somewhere most of the recall workers have never hitchhiked to before. How's that economy in Maine going these days? Last I heard about the only growth industry was the board-up business.
Lyle Ruble November 15, 2011 at 01:28 PM
To sit and speculate on who did the cyber attack is a "red herring". The recall petitioners need to get on with their signature collections and put this behind them. Sixty days is a relative short period of time and collecting signatures this time of the year is a major challenge.
Keith Schmitz November 15, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Just to be helpful, the once proud Gadsen flag is not the Jolly Roger for numbskulls. He actually LOVES being tread on and thinks the rest of us should love it too. The last time that flag waved the bearers fought against aristocracy. The Average White Bigot on the other hand defends it.
Keith Schmitz November 15, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Glad to hear about the windows being boarded up. They have a similarly thick-skulled, T-Party supported governor.
Bob McBride November 15, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Yep, Keith, another Republican cleaning up after the mess left behind by his Democratic predecessor. You guys always want us to fix up your messes in no time.
Bob McBride November 15, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I'd imagine it went down, otherwise they wouldn't be stupid enough to call in the FBI and Van Holen, although since they're not always easy to trace and can, in fact, be launched by kids (sometimes used by adults to do so, since kids generally get off with a slapped wrist), certainly what you suggest regarding doing it themselves isn't impossible. At this point anything that distracts from the "too late to call off" protest in front of Walker's private residence probably would be welcome.
Steve November 15, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Are you serious? Another clean conservative comment deleted by the huffington post......
Ima Hippee November 15, 2011 at 02:46 PM
3-2-1 - Bingo! The first Koch mention! Woo Hoo! Took a few posts. Of course we are all familiar with the Koch "bot-blogger" farm in China. Geesh - how did you come up with this?
Fred November 15, 2011 at 02:47 PM
A DDoS can be launched by one or two 'script kiddies' in their parent's basement. Anyone who thinks this would require significant coordination or funding has little understanding of the Internet.
NorthShoreNancy November 15, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Hang on, since when did Republicans learn to use computers? And since when did Democrats learn to fend off attackers. I feel like there's something missing here...
Bob McBride November 15, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Nancy, it's not nice to lend further credence to the suspicions of some that the Democrats did this to themselves. No one knows that for sure at this point.
Sam Vedder November 15, 2011 at 03:46 PM
God Bless Scott Walker and thank you for your fine work in fixing Wisconsin. I look forward to many, many years of stability under your leadership. The silent majority will see to it that you are around for a long time.
James R Hoffa November 15, 2011 at 05:19 PM
@Patch Administrators - OK, so what exactly was so bad about my prior post or how exactly did it violate the terms of service that Patch Administrators saw fit to delete it? And yet, posts about crazy Koch Bros conspiracy theories remain! Honestly, an explanation is in order here!!!
235301 November 15, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Ah, yes, Michigan, a fine model for us all to follow: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16001 And Detroit, what a fine city: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6WKMNmFsxM There is no finer example of the result of the liberal, bleeding heart mindset than what you see in the city of Detroit. A complete and utter breakdown of civilization. It is our Beirut and joins her sister cities of Newark and Gary as the poster children for devolution.
235301 November 15, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Take your tinfoil hats off for a moment and realize just about anyone can pull off a DDoS attack. Who is to say this group didn't do it to themselves just to garner attention? Or that some idiot neck-beard in the server room screwed up and is blaming it on a DDoS attack? Just as likely as "the Koch brothers did it".
AWD November 15, 2011 at 07:48 PM
A cyber attack is going to be the least of their worries.
Dan Wood November 15, 2011 at 11:26 PM
I hope the "flood of fulture capitalist money" is more than the mountain of union dollars that will be shoveled into this state. I hope union members feel good about how their hard-earned money is being wasted. One more reason to keep Walker in office.
ScottieKnocker November 16, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Where was Kathy Nicholaus and her "ace" software programmers? Arrogance goes before the fall.
Waukesha Patriot November 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM
The website said it would back up in time for the start of the recall at 12:01 am. Anyone with any brains knows that when a website crashes you have no control over when it comes back online. Another lame attempt by Dems to blame GOP for something that they did. And if you want an example of what the Dems do economically Milwaukee is our very own poster child of what happens when you tax citizens to death and give sweetheart deals to PUBLIC UNION employess. Public unions are the only ones who will benefit from the recall. Those in the private sector unions who beleive in solidarity please give serious thought before you sigh those petitions and look at employment in Milwaukee and the fine state of their public schools. You too will be without a job when your companies leave Wisconsin for more business friendly states.


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