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Thursday, June 30, 2011

F.B.I. Seizes Web Servers, Knocking Unrelated Sites Offline


The F.B.I. seized Web servers in a raid on a data center early Tuesday, causing several Web sites, including those run by the New York publisher Curbed Network, to go offline.

The raid happened at 1:15 a.m. at a hosting facility in Reston, Va., used by DigitalOne, which is based in Switzerland, the company said. The F.B.I. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the raid.

In an e-mail to one of its clients on Tuesday afternoon,? DigitalOne?s chief executive, Sergej Ostroumow, said: "This problem is caused by the F.B.I., not our company. In the night F.B.I. has taken 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server ? we cannot check it.?

Mr. Ostroumow said that the F.B.I. was only interested in one of the company?s clients but had taken servers used by ?tens of clients.?

He wrote: ?After F.B.I.?s unprofessional ?work? we can not restart our own servers, that's why our Web site is offline and support doesn?t work.? The company?s staff had been working to solve the problem for the previous 15 hours, he said.

Mr. Ostroumow said in response to e-mailed questions that it was not clear if the issues would be resolved by Wednesday.

A government official who declined to be named said earlier in the day that the F.B.I. was actively investigating the Lulz Security group and any affiliated hackers. The official said the F.B.I. had teamed up with other agencies in this effort, including the Central Intelligence Agency and cybercrime bureaus in Europe.

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