May 18, 2022

Technical Problems: Library of Congress Web Resources Remain Offline After DNS Attack

UPDATE July 20, 2016 Library of Congress CIO Says Recent Outage is Over, DDoS Attack Was “Massive and Sophisticated”

From a LC Blog Post by Bernard A. Barton Jr.:

I’m pleased to report that our team of Library IT professionals and contract partners have returned our networked services to normal functionality. We did this while maintaining the security of the Library’s network.

This was a massive and sophisticated DNS assault, employing multiple forms of attack, adapting and changing on the fly. We’ve turned over key evidence to the appropriate authorities who will investigate and hopefully bring the instigators of this assault to justice.

We’re satisfied that we’ve fended off the attack and fortified our system for now, but we’ll continue to be vigilant and employ state-of-the-art security systems to effectively respond to these type of incidents in the future. This is not the first time that a large agency or organization has been targeted with this kind of denial of service, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I am grateful to our colleagues in other agencies across the federal government for their assistance and collaboration this week as we worked to restore full service.

I want to also thank our patrons and social media users, who’ve offered valuable feedback on specific problems they were experiencing in a timely way. This helped us work through ongoing isolated service issues once the broad system problems were resolved.

From Federal Computer Week:

The Library of Congress was the target of a denial-of-service attack that has knocked out and the U.S. Copyright Office website, and caused outages at other sites hosted by the library.

Library spokesperson Gayle Osterberg told FCW that the DNS attack was launched July 17 and continues to affect library operations, including internal websites and employee email.

Read the Complete Article

LC has tweeted twice about the technical problems. First, on July 17, 2016 at 11:40 am Eastern and again today at 12:15 Eastern.2016-07-18_19-50-34

About 10 months ago some LC online services were offline for approximately one week due to a hardware failure.

UPDATE 12:45 PM Eastern (Tuesday, July 19, 2016)

Once again LC web resources are not accessible at this time.

UPDATE 10:20 AM Eastern (Tuesday, July 19, 2016)

We were able to access LC web resources at this time.

UPDATE 8:00 AM Eastern (Tuesday, July 19, 2016)

The LC domain ( remains offline.

UPDATE 8:00 PM Eastern (Monday, July 18, 2016)
The LC domain ( remains unavailable.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.