Afternoon Read: Protesters Hack D.C. Government Websites

Hackers launched a DoS—denial of service—attack on D.C. government websites today, clogging the system with a flurry of requests so that it operates extremely slow or is impossible to load.

Softpedia reported that the hackers are part of the UGNazi collective—the same group that attacked New York City’s website Wednesday.

The sites of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs were impacted for chunks of time throughout the day.

The attacks are an act of protest against the U.S. government, according to Softpedia.

“The capital of US is in DC. Seems the government doesn't care about what we think about. The best place to hit them is at there heart,” one of the hackers told Softpedia, referring to the attack on

Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray told the Post that the hack was more of an annoyance than a threat and that the city is working with the federal government and vendors to address the attacks.

“They’re not endangering services,” he told the Post.

* Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University—the conservative Christian university in Lynchburg, Va.

He will speak in front of 14,000 students next month.

Many evangelical Christians attend the university, a demographic Romney struggled to capture during the primary.

* Virginia Republicans will kick off their 2012 campaign efforts with a fundraiser headlined by Gov. Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to The Washington Post.

Nearly 150 people are expected to attend the northern Virginia event, raking in more than $250,000 for Virginia Victory 2012—the GOP’s coordinated campaign.

* The chair of the gambling subcommittee in the Maryland House of Delegates shouldn't be in any special session to fix the budget, according to The Maryland Reporter.

“We’ve got five facilities” for video lottery terminals already, and having a 6th slots casino “was not a good strategy,” Delegate Frank Turner said at a Howard County Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“I see my place is to slow this down as much as I can," Turner said.

"Let’s not turn into a state like Las Vegas,” he added.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said he will not call a special session until the two sides reach a budget compromise.

The Post has an interesting article on the District’s odd couple: Vincent Gray and Darrell Issa. According to the article, Gray invited members of Congress to his suite at the Verizon Center for a hockey game. He was unsure if anyone would show up, but to his surprise, Issa came.

The two apparently spent the first half of the game laughing and talking about the state of the city and their common love of baseball.

Read the article here.

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