Bristol’s town website has been compromised somewhere out in cyberspace, and it could cost $20,000 to fix it or create a new one
The Town Council voted 4-1 Wednesday night, Oct. 9, to spend up to $21,000 in economic development cash to hire a website development firm to deal with the problem.
If you haven’t noticed, when you use a search engine to try to get to the Bristol website, you land on a discount sunglass shop website. That site began showing up this week.
“Our website has not been hacked,” said Town Clerk Louis Cirillo. “It’s the path to it that’s been disturbed.”
If you use the website address, the URL, www.bristolri.us, he said, “there is no problem."
But many website users prefer to use Google or Bing or other search engines, Cirillo said. That’s when the sunglass shop shows up.
“It happened out in cyberspace somewhere,” he said. “And it could take six weeks to solve the problem.”
Several attempts have been made already to fix the website, he said, without success. The site also has not been the most user-friendly, so there was general agreement that a whole new website with a firewall to protect it is the preferred solution.
A request for proposal (RFP) will be distributed as soon as possible. But that means the town website will remain compromised for at least another six weeks or so.
In meantime, do not use a search engine to get to the town website. Type the URL yourself and get right to it. Call 253-7000 if you need some help from the town, Cirillo said.
Town Councilor Halsey Herreshoff voted no on the motion to spend the economic development cash for the website. He preferred spending other cash in the budget to fix the problem.