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."