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Posts Tagged ‘hacking’

The Onion Gets Hacked, Shares Insights

The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army has had its fair share of huge hacking attempts. With propaganda messages spilling out from outlets like the Associated Press and The Guardian, hacks from the group have become more prevalent than ever before on media outlets.

However, they made a mistake earlier this month: hacking The Onion. The online parody newspaper seemed an unlikely target of the SEA, but the result was very similar to other outlets — multiple tweets promoting Assad and the triumph of the SEA. Most outlets who have been victims of an SEA attack have reacted by merely announcing that it happened.

That wasn’t enough for The Onion’s tech team, which decided to break down every level of SEA’s multilayer phishing attack and describe to the public, in great detail, how the SEA managed to find its way to The Onion’s accounts.

Read more

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Opportunity: Share Talent with Newsrooms, Share Code with Everyone

Here’s a PSA-of-sorts if you (or your friends) love journalism and have a technical background, too: less than two weeks are left to apply for the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellowships.

A Knight-Mozilla Fellowship offers a pretty unique experience to a developer, according to Dan Sinker, Director of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews. Those selected this year (the program’s second year) will be plugged into a newsroom to solve problems, and they also receive a combination of paid compensation and benefits—a nice package on its own. But they also will share their code — and experiences — in the open, with hopes that the experiences and knowledge reaches beyond the fellows to a greater community. Read more

Five Tips To Prevent Your Newsroom Twitter Account From Being Hacked, Like @foxnewspolitics

Early Monday morning, the Twitter account of Fox News’ political team, @foxnewspolitics, was hacked. The hackers used the account, over 30,000 followers strong, to post disturbing and untrue messages stating that President Barack Obama had been shot and killed.

This embarrassing episode is also just the latest in a string of high profile hackings. A month ago, the website of the PBS NewsHour was hacked, allegedly by the hacking group LulzSec.

Here are five basic security tips to prevent your Twitter feed from becoming the latest victim.

1. Change Those Obvious Passwords
Without speculating too much, it seems possible that the hackers gained access to the Fox account by using what is called a dictionary attack. Simply put, a long list of words (called a dictionary) are used to try to gain access to the account. When the process is automated, access to the account can be gained in very little time.

It’s easy to prevent those dictionary attacks. Use a password generator tool (like this one) to create a password that would not be susceptible to a dictionary attack. Having something like “zu9ruCEw” as your password is obviously a lot more secure than “icecream,” for example.

2. Limit Access
The more people with access to a Twitter account, the more likely it is that the account’s security can be compromised. Grant access to accounts on a need-to-have basis. Don’t post passwords on intranets or send via e-mail. As soon as security to those are compromised, your Twitter account security is also compromised.

If your company uses third-party Twitter clients, the keeper of the passwords should personally set up the clients up on the computers of the users who need access. That way, authorized people are able to access the Twitter account without knowing the password.

3. Don’t Stay Logged In On A Mobile Device
This one is simple. Tweeting from a mobile device is often necessary, but log out of the app when you’re done. Phones are easily lost and stolen. As soon as that happens, you’ve granted unauthorized access to that Twitter account (and, well, a bunch of other things too).

4. Change Passwords Often
We all know those annoying IT security policies that require us to change our network password every month or two. But there’s a good reason for that. Getting in the habit of doing the same for a company Twitter account will increase security. Passwords should also be changed when someone with access to an account departs the company, regardless of whether it happens on good or bad terms.

5. Keep A Constant Eye On Your Twitter Accounts
This is the most basic of all tips. Make it a habit for someone in your newsroom to monitor the tweets that go out over company accounts at all times. The importance of this is underscored by the fact that the Fox hacking took place on a holiday weekend during overnight hours. The sooner you are able to spring into action in your response to an account that has been compromised, the less damage that can be done.

If Your Account Is Hacked
If your account is hacked, follow Twitter’s protocols. (My Account Has Been Compromised and My Account is Compromised/Hacked and I Can’t Log In!)

Remember, Twitter runs the platform and they make the rules. The fastest way regain access to a hacked Twitter account is to follow their guidelines.

Have more security tips for Twitter? Please share them in the comments section below.