Washington Post website hacked

Readers were "redirected to the site of the Syrian Electronic Army," Senior Social Media Producer TJ Ortenzi writes in an editor's note. "The Post is working to resolve the issue."

E Hacking News' Sabari Selvan says a service called Outbrain, which recommends related links, was hacked.

Outbrain released this statement:

We are aware that Outbrain was hacked earlier today. In an effort to protect our publishers and readers, we took down service as soon as it was apparent. The breach now seems to be secured and the hackers blocked out, but we are keeping the service down for a little longer until we can be sure it's safe to turn it back on securely. We are working hard to prevent future attacks of this nature.

Post Managing Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz said in a statement: "A few days ago, Post newsroom employees were subjected to a sophisticated phishing attack, allegedly by the Syrian Electronic Army, which attempted to gain password information."

The attack resulted in one staff writers' personal account being used to send out a Syrian Electronic Army message. This morning, some articles on our web site were re-directed to the Syrian Electronic Army's site for a period of about 30 minutes. The Syrian Electronic Army, in a Tweet, claimed they gained access to elements of our site by hacking one of our business partners, Outbrain. We have taken defensive measures and removed the offending module. At this time, we believe there are no other issues affecting the site.

The New York Times' website was down Wednesday, but the company denied a report that said it was a victim of a cyberattack.

The outage occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update being pushed out, and we believe that was the cause,” spokesperson Eileen Murphy told the Times.

The Post confirmed earlier this year that it had been the victim of a "sophisticated cyberattack." The New York Times, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal also said they'd been struck by hackers.


  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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