UPDATED, 3:05 PM: Forbes wasn’t alone in the sights of hackers this past week. Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter today confirmed that a hacking attack occurred on their system on Wednesday exposing the data of Kickstarter users, although “No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers,” said Kickstarter. The security breach affected user email addresses.
PREVIOUSLY: Forbes‘ online site was hit in a “digital attack” yesterday that compromised the publication’s publishing platform and may have exposed sensitive user information including email addresses and passwords. “The passwords were encrypted, but as a precaution, we strongly encourage Forbes readers and contributors to change their passwords on our system, and encourage them to change them on other websites if they use the same password elsewhere. We have notified law enforcement. We take this matter very seriously and apologize to the members of our community for this breach,” Forbes acknowledged Friday.
Related: Financial Times, NYT Hit By Hackers
The Washington Post confirmed in an editor’s note today that its website had been hacked Thursday morning after a days-long phishing attack on Post writers. Hacker group The Syrian Electronic Army appeared to be responsible. “For 30 minutes this morning, some articles on our web site were redirected to the Syrian Electronic Army’s site,” the note confirmed. “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 Post site.” The hack comes a day after the New York Times website was down for two hours. The paper blamed that outage on a “server issue”.
Related: E! News Twitter Hacked
CBS News Twitter Accounts Hacked
A second suspected LulzSec hacker was arrested Tuesday on charges he took part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reuters reports. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Arizona, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Phoenix six days after a Los Angeles federal grand jury accused him and co-conspirators of stealing information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems in May and June 2011. LulzSec then boasted about the breach and published names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who had entered contests promoted by Sony. An accused British hacker, Ryan Cleary, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges related to LulzSec attacks on media companies including Sony Pictures, Fox Entertainment Group and PBS. The FBI said Rivera’s co-conspirators included Cody Kretsinger, 24, a confessed LulzSec member who pleaded guilty in April to federal charges in the Sony attack. Kretsinger is slated to be sentenced on October 25.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted a 20-year-old Brit on charges related to the hacking of computer systems at Fox Entertainment Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment movie and TV studio as well as PBS, Reuters reports. Ryan Cleary is already in jail in the UK, accused of hacking computers with the group LulzSec. He was indicted on Tuesday. LulzSec, an offshoot of global hacking group Anonymous, has taken credit for hacking attacks on government and corporate websites. LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger two months ago pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to taking part in an extensive computer breach at Sony’s studios. Prior to that Anonymous leader “Sabu” or Hector Xavier Monsegur, had pleaded guilty to hacking charges and provided the FBI information on fellow hackers.
It happened last night, and for about six hours prevented some customers — no word on how many — from being able to use the Web. Cablevision says that it was a Distributed Denial of Service attack, which means that someone flooded its network with communications, causing it to slow down or grind to a halt. But the company says it has fixed the problem and is trying to find out what caused it. Cablevision has nearly 3M broadband customers, most concentrated in New York City and its suburbs. Here’s its release:
BETHPAGE, NY, November 30, 2011 — Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) is alerting customers that it experienced a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the Optimum Online network during the evening hours Tuesday night. The company announced that the attack has been remediated and resolved. It began at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday and was resolved shortly after midnight, when all service returned to normal.
The attack Tuesday night caused a disruptive increase in automated requests on a portion of the network, which impacted the ability of some customers to access certain websites and other Internet services.
DDoS attacks have been directed at several leading technology companies in recent months. Cablevision is continuing to investigate the cause of the attack.
The guy arrested for hacking the emails of Scarlett Johansson and other celebrities admits he knew what he was doing was wrong but once he started and discovered he could do it, he couldn’t stop. “It started as curiosity and it turned to just being addictive,” Christopher Chaney told a Florida TV station today. “Seeing the behind-the-scenes of what’s going on with the people you see on the big screen.” Concerning photos of Johansson and others that found their way to the Internet, Chaney told the station he never sold any pictures or information. The way what the FBI has dubbed his “hackerrazzi” scheme worked, Chaney said, is he hijacked the forwarding feature on email accounts of Johansson, Christina Aguilera and 48 others. When any of them got an email, he did too. “I know what I did was probably the worst invasion of privacy someone could experience,” he said. “I’m not trying to escape what I did. It was wrong. And I have to just face that and go forward.” What he could be facing is up to 121 years, but he says he plans to plead guilty to all counts in the indictment. For now, though, he’s posted $10,000 bail and is in effect grounded without Internet access. His mom, who was present with his dad during the TV interview, described Chaney as “a good kid, he just made a … Read More »
The hacker who broke into the email accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and dozens of other celebrities has been identified as an apparently unemployed 35-year-old man living in Jacksonville, Fla., who the FBI said didn’t appear to have done it for money even though several allegedly pilfered images wound up on celebrity websites. From his personal computer, the L.A. Times reported, Christopher Chaney allegedly scoured celebrity magazines, websites and Twitter and Facebook posts to glean email addresses and password clues from the names of friends, children, siblings, pets or any seemingly innocuous personal information. Beginning in November 2010, the FBI said, Chaney hacked as many as 50 victims, many of them from electronic address books. Even if he didn’t try to sell information or photos or try to blackmail his targets, it’s way creepy, and if convicted Chaney faces up to 120 years in prison.