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Too slow! FBI Shuts Down Hosting Service

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the shades-of-steve-jackson dept.

United States 928

Chope writes "If FBI agents showed up at your data center bearing a warrant, would you be able to provide them prompt access to customer data? BZZZZT! I'm sorry, but you've taken too long to answer. We'll be confiscating all the hardware you use, er, used to use, to run your business. But we'll get it back to you 'real soon now.' Thank you for playing. CarrierHotels.com is carrying the story of a FBI raid on a web hosting company. When the hosting company didn't and/or couldn't provide the information the FBI was looking from its several terabytes of data within "several hours", the FBI decided it was more "efficient" to seize all the web servers and customer data as part of the FBI's investigation of a hacking incident."

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928 comments

Silly FBI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372144)

didn't get FP

what?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372146)

where are you fuckers? this cant be the first post.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372147)

not slow enough for this FP...

All Your Rights Are Belong To Ashcroft (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372148)

someone had to say it..

Re:All Your Rights Are Belong To Ashcroft (5, Funny)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372302)

someone had to say it..
... and judging by the finely crafted grammar, bush did. :)

and.... (3, Insightful)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372154)

and who says they abuse their power? (I wouldn't...)

Re:and....Absentee landlords. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372218)

Marked troll already. That's slashdot for you.
Anyway this incident illustrates why the citizentry needs to be active in government instead of reactionary and "woe is me" after the fact. The government isn't very good at self-disciplining. That's our job. An absentee citizentry breds the results you see. Get out and vote in 2004. Get involved in local and national politics. Stop being a wallflower.

In response to a hacking incident? (3, Insightful)

mehaiku (754091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372155)

Oh my, which one our corporate overlords were offended this time?

No overlord ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372170)

It was a corporate gaylord that were offended.

Re:In response to a hacking incident? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372211)

More importantly, I was wondering if they were going to use the same search techniques as SCO did to report on the supposedly millions of lines of code that were allegedly illegally copied into Linux?

If this is the case, the ISP will see their servers some time in 2009, since there are not millions of lines of code, but terrabytes of highly cryptic IRC chat, such as "FBI is teh sucks".

Re:In response to a hacking incident? (5, Insightful)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372237)

If everything was shut down, how come http://www.cithosting.com/ is still up and running? If all the equipment was taken, wouldn't the web page that's being shown on that site be gone...shouldn't it be hard to connect to anything on that site at all?

The fact is, this story is old because the FBI has already started returning the equipment back as of yesterday. The FBI confiscated everything on the 14th. CIT's web site says:

02/23/2004 CIT re-establishes service.

We have restored service at Equinix's Chicago Data Centers. We are in the same facilities as MSN and many fortune 500 companies. The facility has multi OC192 connections to the backbone.

The FBI has begun retuning equipment to CIT which is being shipped to our new facilities in Chicago.
At this time CIT will continue to provide dedicated DDOS Protected web hosting only.


Yes, the FBI overstepped they're bounds and yes it's frightening to think of this happening...but let's not get the facts wrong. The story here on Slashdot made is seem like the equipment was seized and the FBI probably won't be returning it, which isn't the case.

When reporting the crap that the US Gov throws at us, don't embelish...just report what is known and not a lot of speculation.

Re:In response to a hacking incident? (4, Insightful)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372277)

I don't believe the headline overstated anything. The FBI's track record for returning anything seized is appalling.

More to the story (3, Interesting)

OPTiX_iNC (691070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372157)

I'm sure there is more to the story than what we are hearing...

I wonder what the FBI was looking for.

Re:More to the story (4, Insightful)

MisanthropicProggram (597526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372183)

I don't know why your were modded down to -1, but I had the same thought. I haven't seen this story picked up on any other news outlet yet. And the article was posted on Feb 19th! What's going on here.

Re:More to the story (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372279)

> I haven't seen this story picked up on any other news outlet yet. And the
> article was posted on Feb 19th! What's going on here.

It's almost as if.... naaah. This is still a free country, right?

Then again, perhaps it's no coincidence that it was a frenchman and not an american who said `i detest what you say, but i'll defend with my life your right to say it`.

Land of the free, huh? Time for a new slogan.

Re:More to the story (5, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372227)

I bet there is more to the story than we are hearing. There was a search warrent from the "United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio"

To get a search warrent you have to have something to go on already.

Re:More to the story (5, Insightful)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372294)

A search warrant is one thing, shutting down a private enterprise because a couple agents got impatient or paranoid is another issue entirely.

We keep hearing about liberal judges this and liberal judges that in the media, but there are just as many conservative judges giving law enforcement rubber stamps on warrants.

Poor hosting company (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372159)

The poor hosting company probably has ToS to live up to. This will ruin them.

If nothing is found, will they have any recourse against the FBI or are they screwed?

Re:Poor hosting company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372241)

Never mind. I'm sure the Gestapo will find plenty of work for them in the concentration camp.

Re:Poor hosting company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372251)

nothing is found, will they have any recourse against the FBI or are they screwed?

My money is on 'screwed.'

Re:Poor hosting company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372265)

The company itself would probably have limited recourse, since they were named in the search warrant. However, the customers could go after the FBI since they were not supposed to be part of the search. Also if they shut down any web sites, you could make a First Amendment case. The FBI could actually find themselves in trouble for this one.

Re:Poor hosting company (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372272)

The poor hosting company probably has ToS to live up to. This will ruin them.

Law always beats a ToS. If the FBI comes with a warrant for a piece of customer data, you've got to turn it over even if your ToS/Privacy Policy says you won't. To avoid getting caught in this jam, include a statement saying you'll turn over anything to any authority who presents a proper warrant.

If their business was based on not turning anything over to the spooks, well, so much for that idea.

Re:Poor hosting company (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372287)

If nothing is found, will they have any recourse against the FBI or are they screwed?

INAL, but the answer is obviously no. If the FBI has gotten a warrent by adhering to proper procedures, there would be no recourse against them. They have followed their obligations under the law. As long as the FBI didn't knowingly use false information to secure the warrant(s), then this web hosting company is just out of luck.

LK

How about the sustained financial damage? (4, Interesting)

devilkin (539677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372160)

And what if you run your website on those servers for commercial use? Will the FBI refund the finanial damage you suffered (e.g. when you run a webshop or smthing)?

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (1, Insightful)

mehaiku (754091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372180)

With Bush & Ashcroft in? Don't make me laugh.

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372199)

I see the pro bush mods are out in full force.
Dirty religious dicks.

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (4, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372206)

What if a criminal escaped onto the street where your brick-and-mortar shop was located, and they closed down a several-block radius for as long as it took to find him? You think they should compensate all the businesses that were affected?

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372242)

That's the clumsiest analogy I've heard for a long time! Thanks for a lunchtime giggle!

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (4, Insightful)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372255)

They don't do that, except in cases of people believed to be dangerous, and then only for a very short period of time. That's the point. They went WAY too far in this case.

Re:How about the sustained financial damage? (2, Funny)

vanillacoke (646623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372263)

Yes but buildings aren't constantly evolving and revolving of capitalism At one point it's still a box containing stuff you sell. People will still come back and 1 day hit is minimal at best to finances. (Ex: You sell bred. Your store is closed down. Your bread will still be there tomorrow) Online service companies OTOH have contacts to hold up. They must compensate for when they are down on their end. ( Ex: funnywittyp0rnname.com sells a service, they having income coming in and must continue to provide services at any giving time on the internet (for people um, who want porn at 3:30 in the afternoon). No porn, that guy now has to break the law and download for free of kazza. Net loss both parties (Legal porn, source of revenue))

Financial damage may not be worst... (3, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372243)

what about their reputation for having illegal or compromising people using thier service. That reputation alone may be worse than the downtime.

Re:Financial damage may not be worst... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372281)

No, thats the kind of bussness i want to deal with.

-Mobboss

Just deal (-1, Troll)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372163)

We lost our rights and our liberty a long time ago, when most of you bowed down before the war on drugs.

I'm slowly getting used to it. You should too.

Re:Just deal (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372184)


I'm slowly getting used to it. You should too.


Only if you welcome an eventual police state, not my choice.

Re:Just deal (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372262)

With Bush and Ashcroft in power: you already have one. I'd recommend reading Noam Chomsky's latest book "Hegemoney or Survival". Bush is a war criminal.

Re:Just deal (1, Insightful)

phiwum (319633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372201)

We lost our rights and our liberty a long time ago, when most of you bowed down before the war on drugs.

I'm slowly getting used to it. You should too.


Gosh, all of us guys that bowed down before the war on drugs are mighty glad you're so forgiving and stoic in the face of our failures. We will try, like you, to get used to the new tyranny, but I fear that we just haven't your courage in the face of adversity.

Anyway, thanks for the advice!

-- signed, The lowly yellow-bellies unworthy to stand in your shadow.

Not fast enough (3, Insightful)

RedShoeRider (658314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372165)

"the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection,"

Ok, so it's faster to have to unplug all of the servers, carry them out of the building, put them on a truck, drive them several (dozens?) of miles, unload them from the truck, put them in a warehouse, re-plug them all in, and now have to datamine without the assistance of the people who operate the systems.

Was I abducted by aliens and brought to Bizarro world while I slept last night, or am I just missing something here?

How about backups? (1)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372240)

Can/do they seize those too? How about when those backups are offsite? If it's the data you're worried about, those backups could save your business.

Besides, if their warrant only applied to that one physical address, you could forget to tell them about the redundant data, or you could simply tell them to get stuffed if it wasn't explicitly listed in their warrant (replacing the hardware they seized would be another matter entirely, but you'd at least have the data)

Re:Not fast enough (3, Interesting)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372278)

you know, whenever europeans read such stories, there comes that awful feeling again - that something within the US must be terribly wrong and - what is more - only a few people seem to care or even notice.

Was I abducted by aliens and brought to Bizarro world

no need to bring you there - and no aliens involved, either ;)

see the link in my sig if you care to see how the authorities made such things possible.
(check each of the "14 Defining Characteristics" you recognize, count checks and post your results ;)

But... But... But (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372166)

"if you don't have anything to hide or have not done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about[TM]"

or something like that? I wonder how their other clients feel?

Re:But... But... But (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372230)

Yes, but what if the check to the Republican National Committee gets lost in the mail?

Apparently, "The FBI, a proud tradition of stomping on high tech small business since 1990."

FBI?? (4, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372167)

If the FBI shoed up at my door... there would be a hell of an international incident as I live in Sweden (you insensitive clod!)

Re:FBI?? (2, Interesting)

takev (214836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372284)

Then again, I live in the Netherlands but I was at work in Belgium and in the hotel I was watching the news.

There was a kidnapping of a rich kid (who lived in the netherlands) and he was found (alive) in belgium. This doesn't happen very much where I live (or at least it isn't reported).

Now the interesting thing was, that the FBI helped in the investigation. The news didn't report why FBI agents helped, so I couldn't comment. It could be just some agents in a foreign exchange program though.

Re:FBI?? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372295)

If the FBI shoed up at my door... there would be a hell of an international incident as I live in Sweden (you insensitive clod!)

You're kidding, of course. The FBI are literally EVERYWHERE. I find it weird myself. I don't know when joining the FBI became an opportunity to see the world but you only have to read the papers. There has to be a book's worth of material in this for an investigative journalist.

But anyway, I presume they would be accompanied by your local police -- if that makes you feel better.

Over the top anyone? (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372172)

I don't know if it would fly in the USA, but in Chile if the police pulled that kind of stunt you would be on a very good footing for suing the pants off the state. Lost clients, lost revenues, etc.

I think this will not feel too good for the american public.

Re:Over the top anyone? (5, Funny)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372196)

This is the US we're talking about. We sue everyone for everything. In fact I just might sue you for implying we wouldn't sue.

Re:Over the top anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372268)

am I the only one who finds it funny a citizen of chile saying they'd sue the police. Wouldn't you just dissapear if you tried that?

I wonder... (4, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372175)

if CIT might have been uncooperative. This article is very one sided and if it was taking hours and they weren't seeing it get anywhere then there might have been a legitimate problem. I don't know if taking the servers was the best solution but if they did it then there must have been something going on.

Re:I wonder... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372249)

The article didn't even reveal what the warrant was looking for, so it's impossible for us to say if it was a reasonable request. If the company was refusing to look for infomation the FBI was sure it had, then this kind of action would be fully justified.

Re:I wonder... (2, Interesting)

AlgoRhythm (701779) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372269)

... but if they did it then there must have been something going on.

Riiiiiiight, 'cause the FBI has always got the best interests of the american people on their minds ... they would NEVER [utk.edu] do anything of questionable ethics.

Effects on Business Rules? (2, Insightful)

Jackdaw Rookery (696327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372176)

Aren't there rules on how the FBI can act in these situations?

I thought there actions could not significantly damage a company's business if that company wasn't the one under the kosh.

It's not the ISP's fault in this case and they are the ones getting screwed.

Assholes. (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372178)


So the FBI took the machines and were able to copy and peruse all data on the system, not just the data the warrant was for. Welcome to 1984!

fuck a bunch of FBI (0, Troll)

bangular (736791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372179)

Yeah, that's bullshit. I know people who run small isps and hosting environments, and if they suffered anything like that, the cost of downtime would probably put their business in serious trouble. Oh, and who do the customers complain to? Not the FBI, that's for sure! Unless someone's life was in danger, there's no need to hurt someone's business like that. Yeah, fuck a bunch of FBI. Let's just hope someone pees in their coffee.

script kiddy and spam proxy heaven (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372182)

Last year I found the a controller of the proxy that was installed on a NT workstation happened to be controlled out of the same data center that was shut down. That machine was telling the NT box to send out massive amounts of spam.

This is about the last data center on earth where script-kiddies can get free shell accounts.

This is a case were many servers got caught in the crossfire aginst the script kiddies and spamers.

Re:script kiddy and spam proxy heaven (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372283)

+2 from AC...now for the rest of the story...
The virus that hit the NT server came from the only other NT boxes in the place which were deep behind firewalls. It appears that a sysadmin's PC got a virus via his broadband connection and the PC remote control software was used by the virus to hit the internal servers and then it started network scanning and installed another virus on the mostly protected NT box which then turned into a spam proxy. Once it triggered the alarm (by attempting to talk outside), I moved it to the lab where I let it talk out and it phoned home to collect spam to realy. It then tried to send billions of messages.

Friends don't let windows boxes talk to each other.

Not a Chance in .... (1)

damitbill (66375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372185)

I'll bet (IANAL) that have absolutely no obligation to compensate anyone for any financial damages. I would gues (not knowing who the company is) that all the people hosting with them signed an agreement to not hold them liable (hosting provider). And it's almost impossible to sue the FBI.

There's gotta be more to this (4, Insightful)

queen of everything (695105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372189)

There has to be more to this story. From what the article says, the FBI just walked in and shut them down. While that might have happened this story seems to be extremely one sided and a little short on the detail.

Initially, I don't like the sound of it at all given that I host several domains and don't want the FBI coming in and taking all of my servers. But, we don't know what led up to the seizure....maybe it was a legitimate action? We shouldn't judge too harshly until we have all the information. I'm trying to play devil's advocate here.

What kind of sick joke is this? (5, Funny)

elchulopadre (466393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372191)

First their webserver farm gets seized by the FBI, then you post their story on /. ??? Give these guys a break!

Re:What kind of sick joke is this? (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372273)

It was an article about them, evidently not hosted on their own site.

Re:What kind of sick joke is this? (-1)

subk (551165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372297)

Someone who claims "DDOS Protected" hosting on "Multiple OC192s" *should* be ready for an early-am slasdhotting.

um... (4, Insightful)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372193)

I would be more worried about the fact that rather than being supplied with the data that they originally requested, they now potentially have the logs/records/recordings/information of all the transactions and customer records and IRC conversations ever hosted by this...

Will they delete the 'copied' data after they have finished, keeping only the information that they originally wanted, please this is v bad...

Thank God i dont live in the US

Full Text (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372195)

FBI Shutters Web Host

By Rich Miller
Carrier Hotels Editor
Posted Feb 19, 2004

If FBI agents showed up at your data center bearing a warrant, would you be able to provide them prompt access to customer data? How long would it take?

That's an important question in the wake of an FBI raid of Columbus, Ohio hosting company CIT Hosting last Saturday. Federal agents wound up shutting down the entire operation, seizing all the company's web servers and all customer data as part of its investigation of a hacking incident.

CIT Hosting, also known as FooNet, markets itself as "the leader in the IRC and DDoS protection business for the last 5 years." The company posted a web page informing customers that its data center was shut down, and instructing customers to contact the FBI if they needed access to their files.

"The FBI executed a search warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the IRC network that we host," the company said in its statement.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a live chat system that allows users to create private discussion rooms. While IRC has a lengthy history of legitimate use, it is also a medium for discreet communication between hackers. CIT said the FBI was "investigating whether someone hosted on our network hacked and attacked someone else."

"After several hours of attempting to track down, inspect and audit the terabytes of data that we host, the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection," the statement continued. "The FBI has assured us that as soon as the data has been safely copied and inspected, the equipment will be promptly returned. Unfortunately, the FBI has not been able to tell us when they will be completed with their inspection."

The seizure isn't standard procedure, and there's no way to know exactly what prompted it. CIT's account suggests the FBI may have lost patience with the process. The IRC-focused nature of CIT's business may also have been a factor.

But if you're a data center operator, you want to avoid any scenario in which the FBI gets impatient and starts hauling away your servers. Just one more item on the contingency planning checklist for the times in which we live.

more important (?) how much customer data stored? (5, Interesting)

buzban (227721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372200)

IDNRADC (I do not run a data center), but don't let that stop me from making a completely unqualified comment ;) ....

Perhaps just as important, or more important, are you storing customer data that could/should be regularly deleted? Not that burning everything when the FBI shows up is the best option, but having a sensible scheme for what needs to be stored, and what would be better deleted and overwritten, seems to me to be important...

great (1)

dkode (517172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372205)

That's peachy

In this day and age with the nations confidence in our government dropping lower than ever before, how can the FBI do something like this?

I mean obviously they were trying to cater to their customers and the FBI at the same time, but the FBI were impatient bastards and instead of working with the company, they've decided to ruin the companies business.

I would have loved to been one of the hosting customers that got their sites yanked as I would be all over the FBI like a fat kid on a cupcake.

As someone said in an earlier post, I'm now getting used to this kind of thing. After many people surrending our rights in the name of anti-war and anti-terrorist activities, this kind of thing is becoming a more common sight.

Steve Jackson Games (1, Funny)

riqnevala (624343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372208)

At least they were not about to publish "a handbook for computer crime".

Think twice before connecting that modem...

Threat? (2, Insightful)

glpierce (731733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372209)

Well, what if there was a credible threat made by terrorists through the hacking? Perhaps time is of the essence, and tracking the person down could bring down a terrorist cell.

Returning Equipment (3, Informative)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372210)

There is an article here [freeinternetpress.com] that tells that equipment is already being returned.

Look! I'm whoring! (4, Informative)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372214)



From their site - don't forget to let the FBI know what you think! rwhite3@leo.gov

02/23/2004 CIT re-establishes service.

We have restored service at Equinix's Chicago Data Centers. We are in the same facilities as MSN and many fortune 500 companies. The facility has multi OC192 connections to the backbone.

The FBI has begun retuning equipment to CIT which is being shipped to our new facilities in Chicago.
At this time CIT will continue to provide dedicated DDOS Protected web hosting only.

CIT provides reliable and scalable solutions for customers of all sizes and services. Located in Equinix's Chicago Data Centers , CIT has access to all the major carriers without the need for local loop circuits.

Our Chicago staff is focused first and foremost on customer satisfaction, and will take every action necessary to accommodate each customer. Unlike many large ISPs, CIT prides itself in its ability to provide personalized service to each customer - if a customer calls twice for assistance, they can usually speak to the same representative. Our sales and support teams are allowed a great deal of flexibility to work together to resolve each customer's needs on an individual basis. Our success and rapid growth can be attributed to the satisfaction of our customers - word-of-mouth referrals account for a large portion of the new business we receive each month.

The IRC Network will remain down until further notice.

02/14/2004 FBI Confiscates all servers

Dear Customers of FOONET/CIT:

We regret to inform you that on Saturday February 14, 2004 at approximately 8:35 am EST, FOONET/CIT's data center in Columbus, Ohio temporarily ceased operations.

Here are the facts of what occurred:

The FBI executed a search warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the IRC network that we host. According to the warrant, it appears that the Bureau is investigating whether someone hosted on our network hacked and attacked someone else.

After several hours of attempting to track down, inspect and audit the terabytes of data that we host, the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection. This was completed at 7:00 pm EST same day.

The FBI has assured us that as soon as the data has been safely copied and inspected, the equipment will be promptly returned. Unfortunately, the FBI has not been able to tell us when they will be completed with their inspection.

We have been told by the Special Agent in charge of the investigation that If you need access to your data you are asked to please contact the Bureau via email to rwhite3@leo.gov. Make sure to include in your email your name, mailing address, and telephone number with area code.

Since we wish to focus 100% of our efforts on restoring services, we would appreciate it very much if you do not attempt to contact us directly. Please rest assured that we are doing everything possible to restore service to you as quickly as possible.
To the many who have inquired, Paul and family are OK, although shaken by these events. They are at home and awaiting the blessed event of their new child's birth. We thank you for your good wishes and prayers.

Please check back here often. Through this site, we will keep you informed of ongoing developments as we know them.

Thanks again for your understanding.

Foonet... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372216)

Some one who has been spamming using my domain as fake from addresses - cdatlow.com, their payment processor is heavily involved in some sort of credit card fraud; when poking around, i noticed a mysql connection error, to a host in foonet.

I wonder if this sort of activity has anything to do with it...

IRC servers huh? (2, Interesting)

dickiedoodles (728410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372219)

What do you think the chances are that this has something to do with the microsoft source code leak?

What really sucks.... (4, Insightful)

Ghostx13 (255828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372220)

Is that if the FBI, ATF, *BI, or whoever seizes your property in the investigation of a crime, they are in no way liable for any damage that occurs to your property, if you can even consider it your property anymore, because, even if your property was deemed to have NOTHING to do with the crime being investigated, said above entities are not required to return your property. You have to SUE to get it back. Now how's that for some bullshit.

I guess it's all over now (0)

LoganTeamX (738778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372221)

Time to move to home-based T3 and better hosting services. At least in that case, your stuff isn't all over somedumbguy.com's webserver and you don't have access to whoever thinks THEY should have access.

The FBI is already returning some equipment... (5, Interesting)

shyster (245228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372225)

Looks like the seizure occurred on 02/14, and that as of 2/23 [cithosting.com] some servers have already been shipped back and put back on-line. As of now, their IRC network is still down...though it's unclear whether that's due to an FBI decision, the FBI still having their servers, or a CITHosting decision.

The only thing I find a bit odd about this whole thing is that it looks like they too the opportunity to relocate their data center to Chicago (it was previously in Cleveland). According to their news,

The FBI has begun retuning equipment to CIT which is being shipped to our new facilities in Chicago.

Wouldn't that unnecessarily delay the process of restoring service to their customers? Was the move already planned, or did they suddenly decide that they needed a different data center? Is it possible they're blowing the seize out of proportion in order to cover outages due to their move? Or did the seizure even actually happen?

Re:The FBI is already returning some equipment... (1, Funny)

MooCows (718367) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372271)

Hey, can I have the FBI move all my stuff for free too? :)

Why Slashdot is against hacking investigation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372226)

We all know there are lots of people on the open source site who do malicious things, like stealing code, hacking and so on. Why is it that Slashdot is against activities of FBI against these type of crimes? I would normally listen to what Slashdot says, but since Slashdot urges people to DDoS to Microsoft, SCO and so on, as well as hacking, stealing code one would wonder the true intent behind this post. Just an interesting note here.

Re:Why Slashdot is against hacking investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372267)

Slashdot urges people to DDoS to Microsoft, SCO and so on...

Troll, noone on Slashdot encourages DDoSes, except ACs. Like Slashdot wants to encorage behavior that sheds negative light on OSS.

And why would the FBI doing a DoS be any different?

Seems to blow a hole in the theory.. (4, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372235)

...that 'the powers that be' are monitoring everything 'on the fly', if they need to get their hands on the physical data repository to check it out.

Excellent Agressive Investigating (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372236)

It is VERY reasurring to know our government is cracking down on ALL forms of terrorism including cyber-terrorism. Congratulations to the F.B.I. and good luck to our Commander In Chief in the coming election, who will continue to stand vigilant against threats to our freedom.

Though shalt not use a US Hosting Service ;-) (1, Insightful)

The Terminator (300566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372238)

My conclusion is simple. I will not use an US-American ISP.

my 0.02 $

How the hell is this constitutional? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372246)

What's worse, even if, as the cynics among us believe, the gov't exists solely for the benefit of business, they shut down a freakin business here. Maybe they didn't pay their protection money...

Steve Jackson Games (3, Informative)

dmoen (88623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372250)

If this case follows the same course as Steve Jackson Games [eff.org] (the Secret Service confiscated most of a business's assets as part of an investigation), then the hosting company may not get their stuff back for years, if ever, and they'll need to fight a court battle.

Doug Moen

you FAIL it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372254)

serves to reinfo8ce startling turn provide sodas,

Move a complete data-center??? (1)

claudebbg (547985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372256)

I don't buy it! How can they move that stuff, not only physically, but also logically? To re-plug the servers, they need:
  • a suitable network, with configured routers, auth./DNS servers...
  • logins/passwords for the servers
  • knowledge, and not only general tech but specific setup of that company servers
I prefer to read (between the lines) that they wanted something to be stopped, and eventually an occasion to get the information on the long term (weeks at least) on who/where it is
The strange part, for a European citizen like me, is that no reason at all is given. Normally (in democratic/free world), an investigation means a judge, some reasons, some rule brake, some arguments on why the police is acting.
I hope that with these new laws in Europe we are not going to become like that too soon ;-).

In other news.... (2, Informative)

arduous (91558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372257)

... slashdot alerts carrierhotels.com that they have 1 minute to prepare for slashdoti.... oops, times up!

Arcticle text:

FBI Shutters Web Host

By Rich Miller
Carrier Hotels Editor
Posted Feb 19, 2004
Print This Story

If FBI agents showed up at your data center bearing a warrant, would you be able to provide them prompt access to customer data? How long would it take?

That's an important question in the wake of an FBI raid of Columbus, Ohio hosting company CIT Hosting last Saturday. Federal agents wound up shutting down the entire operation, seizing all the company's web servers and all customer data as part of its investigation of a hacking incident.

CIT Hosting, also known as FooNet, markets itself as "the leader in the IRC and DDoS protection business for the last 5 years." The company posted a web page informing customers that its data center was shut down, and instructing customers to contact the FBI if they needed access to their files.

"The FBI executed a search warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the IRC network that we host," the company said in its statement.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a live chat system that allows users to create private discussion rooms. While IRC has a lengthy history of legitimate use, it is also a medium for discreet communication between hackers. CIT said the FBI was "investigating whether someone hosted on our network hacked and attacked someone else."

"After several hours of attempting to track down, inspect and audit the terabytes of data that we host, the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection," the statement continued. "The FBI has assured us that as soon as the data has been safely copied and inspected, the equipment will be promptly returned. Unfortunately, the FBI has not been able to tell us when they will be completed with their inspection."

The seizure isn't standard procedure, and there's no way to know exactly what prompted it. CIT's account suggests the FBI may have lost patience with the process. The IRC-focused nature of CIT's business may also have been a factor.

But if you're a data center operator, you want to avoid any scenario in which the FBI gets impatient and starts hauling away your servers. Just one more item on the contingency planning checklist for the times in which we live.

land of the free and home of the brave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8372259)

well this proves you aren't free, and attacking defenceless countries isn't exactly brave, either.

How's about "land of the previously free and home of the international bully?"

The FBI *is* too slow. (-1, Offtopic)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372260)

I'm currently disassembling a new worm [daemonology.net] which is using ICQ to spread. It downloads code from www.jokeworld.biz and www.ustrading.info.

I reported this 12 hours ago. WTF are those web sites still online?

Good! (-1, Flamebait)

trifster (307673) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372276)

And I hope the hosting companies learn that when the FBI says jump you not only ask how high but how fast. Hope the FBI gets who their after. Hopefully some spammer that swindled some senators mom-on-welfare out of her life savings. Go FBI.

Irony? (1)

risacher (41716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372290)

Anyone besides me struck by the irony that the news site for the Data Center Industry is significantly slashdotted? One would think that Data Center professionals would be a little more ready to handle the traffic than the average site that gets slashdotted.

Unlawful search and seizure? (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372292)

We, my comrades, live in dangerous times. It is not the threat of "terrorism," for terrorists do not want to take away our liberty (directly). No, it is the threat of the United States Government. The treat is posed militarily to those outside her boarders, and by gross incroachments on fundimental constitutional rights and liberties against those within her boarders. The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution is as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
So I say to you: is this not a blatant violation of the US Constitution? The warrent did not say to take the servers, did it? And where are the warrents of TSA people at the airports? where is their probably cause? where are OUR GODGIVEN, CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED freedoms?

Hey Ted! What's this Magic Lantern icon for? (3, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8372303)

Perhaps the FBI is installing some evil logger/sniffer crap on the servers or some hidden hardware. Or perhaps I need to watch more episodes of the Lone Gunmen.

I'm surprised that there hasn't been any discussion of Magic Lantern for awhile...

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