House Web sites hacked, leading to call for review

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Friday, January 29, 2010

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) asked for an immediate review of how hackers were able to overtake 49 Web sites operated by House members or House committees after President Obama's State of the Union address.

The House Office of the Chief Administrative Officer said the sites affected included those of Reps. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and several committees. All are produced and operated by GovTrends, an Alexandria-based company that specializes in building political Web sites and e-mail newsletter systems, said Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the House chief administrative officer.

Eighteen House Web sites operated by GovTrends experienced similar attacks in August, Ventura said. Pelosi and Boehner noted Thursday that they had previously asked the CAO to review and tighten the Web sites' security.

Several calls to GovTrends on Thursday went unanswered.

Most House Web sites are maintained by the CAO, but about 40 percent are contracted out to private vendors such as GovTrends, Ventura said. The CAO is discussing potential action against GovTrends and efforts to strengthen the security of sites maintained by private companies, he said.

-- Ed O'Keefe


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