Having experienced computer sabotage every time I have something critical I’m working on - and seeing the same thing with multiple others who have also worked on critical eligibility issues - I question where the problems came from. I know nothing about this particular situation but I can smell the same crap that I’ve experienced, from a mile away. If it acted like it had been hacked, a logical question is whether it HAD been hacked.
When thugs run the NSA, DHS, DOD, and all the czar-ships that control every aspect of life, nothing is impossible to them. Nothing. The sooner everybody realizes that, the better.
I have ALOT of experience in the area of designing highly available and scalable IT systems across a variety of platforms (20+ years) across a variety of industries including banking, advertising, finance, legal and automotive industries.
When a system underperforms to the point of becoming UN-USABLE, there are a number of questions to ask, including:
1. Was it designed to perform at a defined, acceptable level under anticipated peak loads? If you know you're going to have a maximum of 40,000 people using a system at peak load, you design the system to be scalable so that if 40,000 or more users are using it, it has available capacity. That means either that capacity is online all the time, or can be brought to bear quickly during peak utilization periods, thus the next question.
2. Have all single points of failure been eliminated, and can additional capacity to bear quickly if needed to maintain performance? (And then, how will that capacity be brought online quickly?)
If questions 1 and 2 (and their related questions) above were not properly addressed, it can certainly appear that a system has been compromised because it largely has - by its own flawed design. It's really only after eliminating these two questions that one can reasonably ask "has the system been compromised/hacked?"
I wasn't a user of the system, my best guess with the information available is that it simply became un-usable due to peak demand and the Romney Campaign's IT Staff didn't have a plan to bring additional capacity online quickly enough to maintain a proper service level for the users of the system.