For most of business hours in the Pacific Time zone, Tuesday saw the ca.gov domain shut down by the federal government. The problem stemmed from a DNS hack, which was sending traffic bound for several offices in the state government to pornographic sites, instead.

Sometime in September, the Marin County Transportation Authority discovered that the servers handling their traffic had been hacked and were linking all traffic going to the MCTA addresses to pornographic web sites. The problem was tracked down, over a period of 2 weeks to a single server owned by the company handling their DNS chores, StartLogic, Inc. After that, the domain name server was changed to state run DNS servers, under the ca.gov domain.

Apparently enough people became aware of the difficulties, and thought that the change to the ca.gov domain might have placed the rest of the California government offices in a bad light, so the federal General Services Administration, who manages the entire .gov domain, decided to cut the ca.gov addresses completely out of the picture.

The IT personnel from the state immediately began work on assessing the entire situation, and proving to the federal administration that all was well. The ca.gov domain names were restored by 5:30pm on Tuesday.

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[tags] California government domain addresses, ca.gov, pornographic web sites, misdirected traffic, hacked DNS, domain name service [/tags]