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Houston Website Possibly Hacked After String of Unusual Posts

The city’s website has been displaying a series of unusual posts to its blog page for mail-order brides, exam papers and online gambling in recent weeks. The posts have appeared at least 29 times since Sept. 13.

(TNS) — Looking for a mail-order Russian bride or wondering how to order a school term paper online? Or maybe you want to improve your slot machine skills by playing online casino games. The city of Houston's official website for news releases has you covered.

In a sign of a possible hack, the site has been peppered with blog entries on a variety of confounding — and decidedly not City Hall related — topics.

The source of the blog entries, many of which are nonsensical, is unknown. Mary Benton, the city's communications director, said she alerted the city's information technology department after the Chronicle inquired about them. The listed author on the articles, a housing department employee named Ashley Lawson, did not actually write and post them.

The posts, often in broken or garbled English, have appeared at least 29 times since Sept. 13, displayed as "uncategorized" entries among more routine posts about police and fire investigations and where to get a flu shot.

The entries have appeared on the city's news site,, a WordPress blog that does not share a domain with the city's primary website,

Some of the spam entries also advise how to avoid computer viruses and write strong passwords. Others boast of a "superb matchmaking Internet site for Hard anodized cookware women" (sic), or places "You Can Match Nerdy Women of all ages... one particular woman made my cardiovascular go pitter-patter."

Staff writers Mike Morris and John Tedesco contributed to this report.

©2022 the San Antonio Express-News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.