Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« The New York families step up for Joe | Main | Paranoia, incompetence, or a dirty trick: Lieberman's DOS allegations »

August 08, 2006

Update from the campaign trail

The polls have been open for about eight hours and we're getting conflicting reports about the turnout. Some poll watchers say it's massive, on par with a presidential election. Other observers are saying that turnout is lower at their polls. It's hard to know what basis a lot of these people have for comparison. At the very least, the turnout is respectable for a Connecticut primary in August.

The mood at HQ is guardedly optimistic.

The news of Joe Lieberman's dysfunctional website is all over the internets. The speculation is that the campaign got cut off for non-payment of its internet bill. (If so, that's awfully weak for an outfit that's taken in over a million bucks in the last two weeks. You'd think they could pay their bill out of petty cash.)

I heard rumors that the Lieberman campaign had proof from its ISP that their site had been hit with a denial of service attack. Josh Marshall reports that the campaign has filed an official complaint, but as far as I know, they haven't produced a statement from their ISP confirming the allegations.

Matt Stoller is very skeptical about the hacking allegations. As Skinner of Democratic Underground observes, it's very suspicious that the campaign was able to post updates on their site. If it had been hacked, the site presumably would have been totally unaccessible. Skinner has the screen capture of the mysterious disappearing announcement on Lieberman's website announcing that the site had been hacked.

In other campaign news, Matt Stoller, Ari Berman, and I drove out to a Lieberman campaign event at a local deli. Pictures soon.

Tonight, I'll be with the Lamont team at the Four Points Sheraton to follow the results as they come in. Polls close at eight o'clock.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00d834db70bc69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Update from the campaign trail:

Comments

wahhh!
my website was hacked!
Vote for me!

How Rovian
How stupid do they think we are?

>How Rovian
>How stupid do they think we are?

God--there's a straight line in there somewhere.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lieberman took on Bush's campaign ideology, as well as other bits of his ideology.

The DoS attack allegation is palpably, transparently, an excuse for Lieberman to stay in the race if he gets his ass kicked today.

tpmmuckraker's reporting on the Joe2006 issue make it pretty clear that there has been a DOS attack.

Incidentally, the NYT reports (the Empire Zone blog) that Lieberman has cancelled his last two planned events of the day because of low turnout at his earlier rallies, and is instead going to spend the rest of the day making phone calls. The NYT coverage is starting to take on that hint of "we know the real story, but we can only hint about it until 8pm" attitude that I remember so well from '00 (when they called Florida early) and '04 (when they pretty much called the election based on the exit polls).

tpmmuckraker's reporting on the Joe2006 issue make it pretty clear that there has been a DOS attack.

TPM hardly makes that clear; what is clear is that the campaign is claiming there's been a DOS attack. Neither the campaign nor TPMmuckraker have actually put forward evidence of s denial of service attack.

from TPM:

From: "Dan Geary"
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 06:05:17
To:xxxxxxxx@deweysquare.com
Subject: account status - www.joe2006.com

Hi Marion,

This note is to confirm that the suspension of displaying the website www.joe2006.com: was not due to to an overdue account. Friends of Joe Lieberman is completely paid in full. The screen that showed yesterday is a default image from the server. In order to isolate where the denial of service attack was coming into the site, we disabled it as rapidly as possible. Once we were able to isolate all the site files for study we were able to add an appropriate one-page maintenance message.

Your campaign has in fact paid every invoice submitted to it within a week and a half.

Regards,

Dan Geary

now, you're right, this doesn't prove anything, because Geary is some sort of consultant for the campaign. But unless he's literally and explicitly lying in a way that will be exceedingly easy to track down and expose, and using really unusually specific references in order to throw us off the trail, despite the fact that it'll make exposure even easier, this, combined with the fact that the site did indeed go down, makes it as clear as it's going to get before there's an investigation that somebody launched a DOS. Needless to say wasn't Lamont; needless to say the whole issue doesn't matter even a tiny bit, except that some moron somewhere could conceivably wind up paying a big fine. But let's not put our heads in the sand here.

I'm sorry, but no one's "putting their heads in the sand." You said that that email "makes it pretty clear that there has been a DOS attack," and frankly, it doesn't. It makes it clear that someone at the Lieberman campaign claims there was a DOS attack. He could be right; he could be honestly mistaken; he could be lying for god-knows-what purpose - it's not as if the Lieberman campaign has been a smoothly-oiled machine so far. The brief history of online political activity is rich with paranoids whose sites have gone down for rather innocuous reasons who then proceed to claim that they've been shut down by DOS attacks. This would hardly be a first.

The speculation is that the campaign got cut off for non-payment of its internet bill.

Actually that was a baseless, quickly debunked, and entirely erroneous accusation from DailyKos. You might wanna update your post and make sure your readers know the site isn't down because of failure to pay bills, sicne you fancy yourself high on ethics.

See this link:

http://www.brendanloy.com/2006/08/apparent-dos-attack-takes-out-lieberman-website.html

On the other hand, there is this:

Two posts down it's clear that Lieberman's website isn't suffering from a Denial of Service attack.

But now I have the definitive answer as to why Lieberman's site went down.

They are paying $15/month for hosting at a place called MyHostCamp, with a bandwidth limit of 10GB. MyHostCamp is currently down, along with all their clients.

Here's the deal -- you get what you pay for. My hosting bill is now over $7K per month. A smaller site doesn't need that much bandwidth, but if you're paying $15 because your $12 million campaign is too freakin' cheap to pay for quality hosting, then don't go blaming your opponent when your shitty service goes out.

I don't know if the site was hacked, but I see on the NY Times site that Mr. Lamont is going to denounce the very hacking that some of you are so unsure ever happened. Funny how that is, eh what?

I could see some unhinged Kos / moveon.org types doing this.

Though there is zero chance that Lamont would have condoned such a stunt, this could really hurt him.

In order to isolate where the denial of service attack was coming into the site, we disabled it as rapidly as possible. Once we were able to isolate all the site files for study we were able to add an appropriate one-page maintenance message.

Sounds pretty bogus to me. Not necessarily dishonest, perhaps just blazingly incompetent, or a clumsy coverup of a goof.

Taking down all the pages on the site would certainly discourage legitimate visitors, but how could they possibly hope that that would cause a real DOS attack to stop, just as it was achieving its goal?

More likely, they were getting overwhelmed with legitimate visits, and came to realize that if they didn't cut back drastically (by putting up a single boring page) they would exceed their download limit before the polls closed.

"[I]solat[ing] all the site files for study" should be no big deal. All the files should have been descendants of a single site directory, from where they could have been copied with a single command.

If the "attack was coming into the site" (emphasis added), then what's to study in the site files? A concealed packet magnet?

For a loosely-related earlier case, google:
SCO DOS

A previous commenter wrote:

Though there is zero chance that Lamont would have condoned such a stunt, this could really hurt him.

That says something about the likely instigators, in my perception.

Was the Lieberman site linked to by a big news aggregator like Fark.com or Slashdot yesterday?

That would take down a site pretty fast.

Thing about DNS attacks is it wouldn't cause the site to go down for long periods of time, they would just filter the IP address's out from the server and block them from causing problems. It's easily fixed. I seriously doubt they were brought down this long because of a DNS attack, unless their host and ISP just suck ball get what you pay for...but it's probably all made up because any techie knows that now adays that DNS attacks are not that big of a deal anymore.

""[I]solat[ing] all the site files for study" should be no big deal. All the files should have been descendants of a single site directory, from where they could have been copied with a single command."

See, that's garbage. What do site files have to do with a DOS attack? Nothing. If they were hacked, then looking at the files might be meaningfull, however, this was a DOS attack, and their is nothing on the Lieberman site they own that would necessitate them taking down the site. I think it's a ruse, and the whole thing doesn't make sense.

Any ISP or hosting site worth a salt would have filtered out the IP addresses eventually and not have affected their clients in doing so. That's like tearing up your mailbox because you think it's why you're not getting mail. Good lord...this is sad.

--Though there is zero chance that Lamont would have condoned such a stunt, this could really hurt him.
That says something about the likely instigators, in my perception.

If it was a hack/denial of service, then whoever did it should go to prison. It smells like a moveon.org/Kos prank to me, and I am sure it smells like Rovian to you. But are we agreed that whoever did something like this should go to jail?

To be honest, this sounds to me like either paranoia or someone incompetent covering their ass. Why did the site go down? Well, hell, it must be all those crazy blogger-types who're out to get us! The tech people who screwed up can hand an excuse to the frustrated politicos which can be spun into a desperate smear on the other side.

"But are we agreed that whoever did something like this should go to jail?"

And if it's all fabricated B.S., then yes who ever did it or fabricated it should go to jail. However, this isn't quaking like a DOS attack duck, so till then, I'm going to call it something else. B.S.

"To be honest, this sounds to me like either paranoia or someone incompetent covering their ass. Why did the site go down? Well, hell, it must be all those crazy blogger-types who're out to get us! The tech people who screwed up can hand an excuse to the frustrated politicos which can be spun into a desperate smear on the other side."

A much needed smear in a time of crisis is worth the $13 dollars a month they're paying their ISP if it gets them this kind of ammunition.

Wow, watching this is beyond pitiful. Allegations of not paying bills, calls for proofs, is this what the left has degenerated to in the USA? Where's the immediate condemnation, you know this is what terrorists do hack websites because they are pitiful and cannot stand on their own legs.

Instead of reacting with maturity.. It seems as if you are all constantly in denials mode, but when someone says that Bush blew up the WTC cranks line up to protest at the top of a mountain how true it is and offer marijuana induced 'theories'.

From blackfaces to hacking, there's a lot to be proud of with this campaign's supporters. Already more here offering up the notion that Lieberman's 'own supporters' did it, do you realize how sad & pitiful that appears to someone like me outside the election? You are your own worst enemies.

"Where's the immediate condemnation, you know this is what terrorists do hack websites because they are pitiful and cannot stand on their own legs."

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? So now only terrorsts hack websites? Or are you trying to make some lame association that Lamont supporters are terrorists? Palestinians perhaps? Or maybe Lebanese? Pitiful is right. It's obvious to me you would opt out for the emotional vigilany justice of hanging them before trial, before finding out what really happened based off any factual evidence.

Oh, everybody just stop all this nonsense and listen to Professor Max. He knows what's really going on.

but when someone says that Bush blew up the WTC cranks line up to protest at the top of a mountain how true it is and offer marijuana induced 'theories'

Where's this mountain located, exactly? My stash is getting a little low.

Clearly most of the commentators in this thread, and all of the trolls, have zero experience with running high-volume production web sites.

And unless Lieberman's web site managers were watching what happened to DailyKos during the two weeks before and week after the 2004 election, they were probably absolutely unprepared for the volume of traffic they encountered today. Back around 1998 or so whole web hosting firms, not to mention sites, used to get knocked out as a result of a single front-page link from Slashdot. The avalanche of traffic to political sites on key days (such as, oh, elections) is tremendous.

And what is with his web dude being in Utah? Where is Lieberman's site hosted? Shouldn't it at least by in NYC if not Connecticut? Going into election day and not having the webmaster, network guy, and programmer in a position where they can put their hands on the hardware if necessary. Yeah, that was smart.

Cranky

you know this is what terrorists do

I'm sure we'll be hearing how Ned Lamont flew a hijacked plane into Joe Lieberman's hosting server any minute now.

I was waiting for the Lamont is an anti-semite because he attacked their webserver, and has a lifetime membership with both the PLO and Hezbollah, as well as the one to Blockbuster. He, not Osama, was the mastermind behind 9/11, and thus must have also masterminded this "DOS" attack.

Glad the press is all over this by regurgatating it all over the headline news sources before figuring out if it really is what they claim it is. Or they'll just wait till the next day to do it. Can I get a Britney Spears "Opps! I did it again!" please.

The comments to this entry are closed.