The FBI seized a number of web servers during a recent data center raid in Reston, Virginia – a facility used by the Swiss-based hosting company Digital One.
The operation knocked several web sites offline, including those run by New York publisher Curbed Network.
“This problem is caused by the FBI, not our company. In the night FBI [took] 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server — we cannot check it,” DigitalOne CEO Sergej Ostroumow confirmed in an official email to clients.
“After [the] FBI’s unprofessional ‘work’ we can not restart our own servers, that’s why our Web site is offline and support doesn’t work.”
Unsurprisingly, the raid has been tentatively linked to an ongoing investigation of Lulz Security.
Indeed, an unnamed government official told the New York Times the FBI was “actively investigating” LulzSec along with suspected “affiliated” hackers.
While most Americans probably don’t really care about a few downed sites, the brute force raid executed by the Feds surely doesn’t bode well for the future.
One can’t help but wonder what comes next: mass Gmail seizures, Amazon cloud server confiscations, or perhaps entire data centers carted off in FBI trucks?
Clearly, U.S. law enforcement officials must learn how to minimize “collateral damage” to neutral civilian infrastructure during cyber-related raids. If they don’t, such operations could potentially be as disruptive as those executed by hostile digital infiltrators.
Rather ironic, don’t you think?