Houston’s website may have been hacked after series of unusual posts

(TNS) — Are you looking for a Russian bride by correspondence or are you wondering how to order a school essay online? Or maybe you want to improve your slot machine skills by playing online casino games. The official City of Houston website for press releases has you covered.

In a sign of a possible hack, the site was littered with blog entries on a variety of confusing – and decidedly unrelated to City Hall – topics.

The source of the blog entries, many of which are nonsense, is unknown. Mary Benton, the city’s communications manager, said she alerted the city’s information technology department after the the Chronicle inquired about them. The author listed on the articles, a housing department employee named Ashley Lawson, did not actually write and publish them.

The posts, often in broken or garbled English, have appeared at least 29 times since September 13, posted as ‘uncategorized’ entries among more common posts about police and fire investigations and where to get vaccinated against flu.

The entries appeared on the city’s news site, cityofhouston.news, a WordPress blog that does not share a domain with the city’s main website, www.houstontx.gov.

Some of the spam entries also advise avoiding computer viruses and writing strong passwords. Others boast of a “great matchmaking website for women in hard anodized cookware” (sic), or places “You can match nerdy women of all ages…one woman in particular has gets my heart pumping.”

Editors Mike Morris and John Tedesco contributed to this report.

©2022 San Antonio Express-News, Distributed by Content Agency Tribune, LLC.

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