Allen County, Fort Wayne websites up and running after multi-day outage

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen County’s website came back up Thursday with city of Fort Wayne’s coming back Friday afternoon.

Both cityoffortwayne.org and allencounty.us crashed Monday morning.

In an email to WANE 15, city spokesperson, John Perlich said the difficulties were caused by a disk failure in the server’s data storage technology that supports the website. He explained that the city and county’s primary connection to the Internet is a hardened firewall, which performs similar to a home Internet route, but is “much more complex.”

Perlich said that any internal servers are completely behind the firewall to keep accounts safe. However, that means residents can’t see it either. He said 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,” said Perlich in an email to WANE 15. “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 that the servers have to manually be rebuilt from the city’s backups, according to Perlich.

“We’re not going to rush that,” said Perlich. “We’re going to be cautious and do it right.”

The outage affected some county elected offices and departments such as the county assessor, auditor, treasurer, highway department and department of planning services.

Other County offices and departments such as the courts and court clerk, recorder, sheriff, health department, GIS, and department of environmental management have their own websites separate from the county’s and were not affected. 

Both Perlich and Mike Green, a county spokesperson said the issue was not the result of a security breach at all.

Perlich said the impacted servers don’t contain Fort Wayne residents accounts or information. The impacted servers are used news releases and department information, according to Perlich.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the city said it was “currently experiencing technical difficulties” with the site, and was working to resolve the issue.

“Crews have been working diligently on this since the hardware failure,” said Perlich. “However, we have asked the technical team to prioritize 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.”

The city said that its website went back online around 10:45 p.m. Thursday, but some features are still in the process of being restored.

Green said anyone trying to get a hold of the county should call the commissioners’ public information officer at (260) 449-7671. A representative will then transfer residents to the appropriate office.

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