Washington D.C. — President Obama addressed the nation Monday, urging Americans to call their representatives in Congress over the high debt ceiling. People responded. Unfortunately, the surge of responses caused many Congressional sites to shut down.
The President had accidentally triggered a Denial of Service attack, a hacker term for putting so much demand on a system that it overloads and stops. The flood of phone calls and emails was more than Capitol Hill’s equipment could handle, so people simply couldn’t get through.
According to information a congressional aide gave to NPR, more than 140 Republican and Democratic sites were affected after the speech, including the one belonging to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R- OH) who addressed the public shortly after the President.
Other elected officials whose sites were affected include Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Representatives Elliot Engel (D-NY), South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), now running for president.
A comment posted on the NPR.org website suggested a bigger underlying reason – and conspiracy theory – for the server crashes: “The fact that so many congressional websites were down at the moment the President called for the people to comment is a continuation of the problem. Our country is being sabotaged in more ways than one.”
The President’s own website operated normally throughout the day.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza