Monday, January 18, 2010

Rounding on the hackers

A hacker managed to make a minor incursion into the Jewish Chronicle’s news site yesterday, placing a pro-Palestinian message across the home page.

It was a clever intrusion and we had to take the site down and reboot to wipe what we could and probe around the back-end to see how it happened. That’s ongoing but we went live again this morning with a two-fingered message to the perpetrators.

But I was impressed by the massive reach of the readership. Within minutes, I was getting calls and text messages from readers, alerted by the sort of people I’d never assume read the site, let alone on a weekend.

The editor, the MD and the IT head had them as well: and on they went into the night and the following morning. There was obviously intrigue in that it involved the Mujaheed and a site that takes such a deep interest in Israel. And the fact that the suspect IP address was Turkish, given the diplomatic spat between the countries at the moment.

But I got a cosy sense of a circling of wagons from our wider community as word – and real concern – spread so quickly by less technical means.

The geeks are on it now. And they love this sort of thing. They go into Silent Witness mode in their dark corners, examining every router, server, source, port and a few things I can’t pronounce.

Not sure what they’ll find, but I’ll let you know.

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