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The Library of Congress is in the Midst of a Cyberattack

Websites are down.

(Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Since at least Sunday, the Library of Congress has been undergoing a denial-of-service attack on their servers, bringing down websites and forcing the agency to scramble to try to keep the sites online and internal email systems working, according to Federal Computer Week.

Perhaps scarier, no one seems to know the source of the attacks, or the motivations behind them. A Library of Congress spokeswoman told FCW simply that they were still working to repel it. 

The following was posted at the top of the Library of Congress’s home page as of early Tuesday afternoon:

“NOTICE: The Library’s websites are experiencing technical difficulties and we’re working to correct them. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

The Library maintains a series of government websites, including Congress.gov, which tracks legislation as it works its way (or not) through Congress. Congress.gov was still down as of early Tuesday afternoon. 

As FCW notes, it’s hardly a secret that the Library’s computer systems are not the most robust. A report issued just last year by the Government Accountability Office outlined numerous problems with the Library’s technological infrastructure. 

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Carla Hayden, the former CEO of Baltimore’s public library system, as the new Librarian of Congress, taking over for James Billington, who served in that post for 28 years.

She’ll have her work cut out for her.