Hackers force Humane Society to limit Web site


POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question: The Hawaiian Humane Society's Web page used to have pictures of all the dogs and other animals available for adoption. But since at least the beginning of the year, when you click on “;pets of the week”; or “;pets available for adoption,”; the site says that the page is not available and “;this function is currently under revision.”; When will they start posting photos and profiles of the animals available?

Answer: At this point, not for another two months or so.

The Humane Society hopes to have its popular Web site “;fully operational”; in April, after it was hacked in October and many features shut down.

The problem is not just with the two sections you mentioned; the organization's entire Web site was compromised, said spokeswoman Kawehi Yim.

The first “;attack”; was reported on Oct. 17.

The Web site was “;cleaned and remained operational,”; Yim said, but it was hacked again in November.

Because of continuing security concerns, the Web site was shut down on Nov. 13.

Certain “;static”; areas are operational, but links where information is continually uploaded, such as the “;Lost & Found”; and “;Pets for Adoption”; areas, are under revision, Yim said.

“;We are in the process of restructuring and enhancing the site to increase security, improve the design and provide more multimedia and enhanced features,”; she said.

Key priorities are the “;Lost & Found”; and “;Pets for Adoption”; features, she said.

The Humane Society asks that people be patient.

Q: Kapalama Drainage Canal meets at the bottom of Kohou and Kokea streets. Over the past decade or so, mud, grass and weeds have accumulated and built up, causing a significant slowdown of river flow. When there is a heavy rainfall/downpour, there is a potential for overflow of the canal and, thus, water and flood damage to residences in the proximity of the canal. More than a decade ago, there used to be a large crane that consistently dredged the area in question on a frequent basis. Unfortunately, that has not happened for at least the past six to eight years. Is it possible to reactivate this practice, even on a semiannual or annual basis?

A: That's not likely to happen.

“;Any type of dredging will present problems due to more stringent requirements to obtain permits,”; an official with the city Department of Facility Maintenance told us.

As it is, city officials can't find any record of dredging work being done in the canal for decades, at least.

The city cleans Kapalama Canal down to the end of Kokea Street. Downstream of this, it's the state's jurisdiction.

“;No work has occurred in the city-controlled area for a long period of time,”; the city official told us.

However, last April, city crews did “;some cleaning”; of the canal from King Street to the end of Kokea Street, including removing hau bushes along both banks and removing any visible buildup that the equipment could reach, he said.

This is done about every two years, he said.