According to City of Fort Wayne Public Information Officer John Perlich, a disk failure in the webserver took down most City and County websites and online services. There was no security breach as the servers affected do not contain account information, only news releases, and department information.
When are the websites expected to be back up?
We don’t have an ETA at this time. Crews have been working diligently on this since the hardware failure. However, we have asked the technical team to prioritize the overall long-term security of our network over the fastest possible restoration of the websites. While this problem is challenging to all involved, it’s trivial compared to a security breach. It’s a disk failure, there’s no security breach. These servers don’t contain accounts, just information like news releases and department information.
Here’s how the webservers work:
Our primary connection to the Internet is a hardened firewall. Firewalls keep the wide Internet from directly contacting any computer. This performs similarly to a home Internet router, but it’s much more complex. Any internal servers are completely behind the firewall. This keeps accounts safe. But that also means residents can’t see it either. To solve that, the firewall has a special limited access area. The City and County websites live in that special area. We don’t place sensitive information there – sensitive information belongs completely behind the firewall. The servers in that special limited access area are what failed. The firewall blocks everything else, so we appear down to the outside world, but inside the firewall, everything is normal. The failure was complex enough we have to manually rebuild the servers from our backups. We’re not going to rush that. We’re going to be cautious and do it right.