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Colonie to rebuild website from scratch

Site goes dark for second time, town to transfer web hosts

— After its website was compromised twice in the span of a month, the Town of Colonie has decided to rebuild the entire site on a different server.

On Friday, Nov. 16, the website, at www.colonie.org, had a mysterious problem that corrupted the site. A Malware warning post blocked anyone from accessing the site for more than a week. Everything was removed from the site, which is hosted by Time Warner, and was “cleared” by the New York State Office of Cyber Security. The site was back up and running smoothly until early last week, when the Malware warning reappeared.

And once again, the cause is unclear.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” town spokeswoman Sara Wiest said. “We don’t know if this is something different. We really have no idea how this happened.”

When the site first went offline on Tuesday, Dec. 11, Wiest said the town was trying to clean the files and restore them onto the same server. But by Monday, Dec. 17, officials had decided to completely rebuild the site and leave Time Warner for a new web host.

“Once we had the second compromise, we just felt that we really needed to start over because we certainly can’t let this happen again,” she said. “I can’t stress this enough, we totally believed the site was safe when it came back after the first compromise.”

Wiest said they are now working with a new host, Logical Net, which is an Albany-based data center web host.

“Basically, they specialize in all sorts of network solutions, including web hosting and web design,” Wiest said. “Possibly once we have the website rebuilt, we hope to look at some redesign.”

Wiest said she’s not exactly sure when the new site will be ready as the company has just started preliminary work.

“It’s possible that within a few days, we’ll have an abbreviated site come up,” she said.

Colonie.org is safe to access now, however as it is under construction it only shows a small panel of numbers to call within the Town.

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