Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett today called for a cyber-security contractor to look into the Tuesday night server crash that shut down the County’s website just as polls closed on election night.


“Although the crash did not affect the vote tallies or the integrity of the election, this is not something that should happen,” Mayor Burchett said. “I want to know what happened, and I think an independent review will help to determine that so we can move forward and work to prevent similar issues in the future.”


Starting today, Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, a Knox County-based IT security firm, will conduct a root cause analysis to determine the exact nature of the County server’s shut down.


In a report provided by Knox County’s Information Technology Department, IT Director Dick Moran wrote that a preliminary review “noted that extremely heavy and abnormal network traffic was originating from numerous IP addresses associated with numerous geographic locations, both internal and external to this country. Based on my experience, this was highly suggestive of a (denial of service) attack.”


The County’s website was down for about an hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. before officials got it back up and running.


“Our Knox County IT team acted quickly in getting the site back up, and I appreciate their effort very much,” Mayor Burchett said.