Hackers Hit Washington Post — Again

The Washington Post seems to be a hacker favorite. The newspaperEUs servers were breached again, the paper reported on Wednesday.

The Post said hackers gained access to employee user names and passwords in what it marked as at least the third intrusion over the past three years. The paper said the extent of the data loss is not clear, but employees have been instructed to change their user names and passwords -- even though they are stored in encrypted form -- based on the assumption that they may have been compromised.

EUThis is an ongoing investigation, but we believe it was a few days at most,EU said spokeswoman Kris Coratti in the Post article. Cybersecurity firm Mandiant notified the paper of the breach and reported it was a EUrelatively short duration.EU

Assessing the Damage

We turned to James Lyne, global head of security research at Sophos, for his thoughts on the latest incident at The Washington Post. He told us it is interesting to see continued examples of compromises focused on media organizations for presumably political or media subversion purposes.

EUThis is certainly not the first case of this in 2013 and we are likely to see more of them over the course of next year,EU he said. EUIt is reassuring in this instance that the credentials stolen were in encrypted form -- though details on what standard of protection are lacking -- thus avoiding the loss of plaintext credentials as many did this year.EU

As Lyne sees it, company-wide password reset is a sensible precaution, but he said one of the greatest challenges when dealing with an incident where attackers had access to your systems for even a short period is identifying what else they may have done.

EUDid they only steal credentials or did they subvert other systems, plant backdoors or change content?...

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