South African news website forced offline by hackers

Filed Under: Malware, Vulnerability

Mail & Guardian
The website of the Mail & Guardian, a weekly South African newspaper, has been shut down following an attack by hackers.

A message posted on the popular news website explained the downtime to internet visitors:

The Mail & Guardian's website is under sustained attack by hackers. We are dealing with the problem, but to make absolutely sure that your security isn't compromised, we have decided to suspend the service temporarily. It's a drastic measure, but we really don't want to take any chances with security. We apologise for this interruption of service. We'll be back as soon as we have made certain that the problem has been effectively dealt with. We'll continue to update you as soon as we have news.

Mail and Guardian website

Nic Dawes, the editor of the Mail & Guardian, said on Twitter that the attacks originated in Russia and that because of the attack the site had been taken offline to protect users.

According to news reports, the online edition of the Mail & Guardian has been plagued in recent months by attempts by hackers to create phishing pages and plant malicious code on the news site's servers.

It seems a sensible step, therefore, for the Mail & Guardian to take its site offline until the security problems are resolved. Downtime is never fun for a website, but it's a less painful than apologising to site visitors after a malware infection is passed to their PCs.

Bad things happen to companies from time to time - but what's most important is how organisations react when they're in the middle of a crisis. It can't have been an easy decision to suspend the website, but it sounds like it was a prudent one.

, , , , , ,

You might like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.