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NewsPoster Aug 15, 2013 04:02 PM
Washington Post, others fall victim to referral service Outbrain hack
Article and website recommendation service <a href="" rel='nofollow'>Outbrain</a>, used by media outlets like the <em>Washington Post</em>, CNN, <em>USA Today, Time</em>, and others has suffered a hacking attack by the Syrian Electronic Army. The company's staff is to blame -- on the evening of August 14, the company was the victim of a "spear phishing" email, asking employees to input login credentials to see the letter from the purported CEO.<br />
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A setting was changed on Outbrain's administrative console to label recommendations as "Hacked by SEA". At 10:23 AM, the Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the attack. Outbrain staff was made aware of the breach 10 minutes later, and service to all customers was cut by 11:03. The company is reviewing all systems before it restarts the service. Outbrain claims that the breach is now secured, and is "working hard to prevent future attacks of this nature."<br />
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The <em>Washington Post</em> attack was a bit more severe -- it appears that code was injected into the Post's website using the Outbrain widget, redirecting visitors to a different website. Washington Post managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz said to <em>Mashable</em> that the SEA "claimed they gained access to elements of our site by hacking one of our business partners, Outbrain."<br />
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The SEA's last high-profile attack was in <a href="" rel='nofollow'>April</a>, when the group claimed credit for breaking into the Twitter account of the Associated Press.A false report was sent from the compromised account that claimed that a bomb had gone off in the White House. The message forced the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 100 points nearly immediately.
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