Failure Happens: Taser-wielding thieves steal servers, attack staff, and cause outages at Chicago colocation facility

Dan Goodin at The Register reports that C I Hosts’ Chicago facility was robbed last month for the third timefourth time… second time (the other two times were merely “break-ins where things were stolen”)

In the most recent incident, “at least two masked intruders entered the suite after cutting into the reinforced walls with a power saw,” according to a letter C I Host officials sent customers. “During the robbery, C I Host’s night manager was repeatedly tazered and struck with a blunt instrument. After violently attacking the manager, the intruders stole equipment belonging to C I Host and its customers.” At least 20 data servers were stolen, said Patrick Camden, deputy director of news affairs for the Chicago Police Department.

The Chicago location has been hit by similar breaches in the past, according to police reports. One report detailing an occurrence on September 23, 2005, recounts a “hole cut through the wall coming out onto the hallway of third floor.” During a September 20, 2006 incident, an intruder “placed a silver + blk handgun to [victim’s] head and stated ‘lay down on the floor.'” The victim, a C I Host employee, was then blindfolded, bound with black tape and struck on the head with a weapon, according to the report.

Wow… I hope that everybody is now okay. There is some interesting discussion by affected customers over on the WebHostingTalk forums.

I’ll be doing a post-incident report using the Simple Availability Report format I introduced last week. (If you would like to contribute please post in the comments or email me directly jesse AT

Updated: Anastasia Tubanos ( has posted her interview and followup with James Eckles, chief corporate counsel for CI Host. (link)

“There’s no resolution really,” he says. “We’re dealing with the situation on a customer-by-customer basis. We’ve got nothing to hide, even though people have been saying otherwise online. The forums have been a bed of misinformation – extortion compounded with defamation. One of the biggest mistakes is that people are talking about four robberies. A robbery means than property has been seized through violence or intimidation. C I Host has technically only been robbed twice in two years. The other two were break-ins where things were stolen, but not robberies.”

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

tags: , ,