Our Tuesday shutdown explained: Our sites were attacked

Tuesday afternoon, April 17, the websites of the Robinson Newspapers, www.westseattleherald.com, www.highlinetimes.com, and www.ballardnewstribune.com were the victim of an internet attack.

Known as a Directed Denial of Service attack, the intent was malicious and took all our sites down for over an hour. Since we had inquiries about this problem we felt it was important to explain what a DDOS is.

In an attack of this type, typically groups of computers are unwittingly recruited through the use of a worm that allows the person, group or company directing the attack to take control of unprotected systems. That control is then used to bombard a particular website server with requests, very quickly.

This means that the websites effectively shut down.

We were able to successfully repel the attack and want to assure all our readers that at no time was there a chance that any harm might come to your system. No viruses, worms or other harmful software is ever sent by or made possible through our websites.

We have not yet identified who might want to damage or harm our websites but are working to learn more. We do know that the attack came from the United States.

We've also taken measures to prevent future interruptions of service.

We thank you for your patience, understanding and readership.

Robinson Newspapers

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