Welp, in case you haven’t noticed, our website, thenortherner.com, was hacked. Early Tuesday morning, our adviser Jacque Day logged on only to see an error page. Apparently, the “hack” happened within the last few days.
According to our host School Newspapers Online (SNO), we had over 7,000 subscribers, all of which appeared to be spam. SNO did mention that it will be virtually impossible to find out who did it or exactly how it happened. But there are a few options.
A former editor at The Northerner, Joe Castelli, mentioned that it appears to be a script attack, as it would take an enormous amount of time to hack everything in the site.
Last night SNO worked on reaching a solution. They deleted all subscribers, tried to get back our content, and made everyone re-register our administrative login information.
On top of everything, the hackers decided to not only infiltrate our site, but to completely annihilate our content.
SNO also said that whoever did it had hacked every single one of our plugins and inserted malicious code. For this reason, all of our plugins are kaput as well.
Whoever it was, we want to punch you.
Aside from obvious frustrations as a student organization trying to maintain both a website and print newspaper, we have to wonder why.
Who was that bored? Who had nothing better to do than sit there and screw with us? It’s not that we’re ranting and doing the whole “poor pitiful us” bit. It’s just that we almost find this situation humorous.
According to the International Business Times, in 2011, the CIA, FBI, NASA and Pentagon all had their websites hacked. Why wouldn’t the people who hacked us put in more time and effort to hack something worth their while, like those high-profile government sites, rather than mess with us?
If you’re going to do it, do it well. At least have the courtesy to go after a website that has hundreds of people to pull it back together, rather than one that has…maybe three.
However, now that this has “hit home,” so to speak, this situation has become a valuable lesson about security in a technology-driven society. We’ll certainly be encouraging those with administrative privileges to be creating passwords like “C2f6jal11Y” instead of, well, “password.”