It was revealed this week that several high-profile US newspapers suffered attacks from hackers, and now information is coming to light that indicates The Washington Post may have been yet another victim. Krebs on Security reports that a former Post information technology employee was part of a group that responded to a security breach the paper suffered that had ramifications throughout 2012. According to the report, servers and desktops at the Post had been compromised with software that allowed the attackers access to the network and the machines themselves. The Post newsroom and other operations were all reportedly compromised.
Usernames and passwords were reportedly transmitted back to the perpetrators of the attack, with signs at the time indicating that Chinese hackers were to blame in this instance as well. One of the servers from the Post is said to have been taken by individuals from the National Security Agency and Defense Department for analysis at one point. When contacted by Krebs on Security, the Post declined to comment.
Update: The New York Times is now reporting that several different attacks on The Washington Post occurred. According to the Times, hacking attack attempts hit the Post for four years, but never targeted the newsroom of the organization. That changed with the attack in 2012 — likely the same one described by Krebs on Security. According to the Times, the compromised machines were found to have been communicating with servers that were traced back to China.
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