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FTP servers of New York Times and UNICEF get compromised

February 15, 2014

Internationally popular media resource ‘The New York Times’ has admitted that its FTP server credentials were compromised due to a recent hacking activity done by a group of hackers. Reacting to an alert issued by Hold Security, which is a Wisconsin based company that monitors cyber attacks, ‘The New York Times’ issued a public statement that its FTP servers were surely compromised, but there was nothing to panic, as its team of experts were already on the task to nullify the affect to the core.

It has been reported that hackers obtained success in gaining the credentials of more than 7,000 FTP sites and posted them in few underground forums. The other company which also happened to have crossed the radar of the hackers is UNICEF, whose credentials are also on the list submitted to a tech forum.

Conversely, UNICEF has divulged that it has no threat from the recent hack, as it has already disabled the application almost a year ago (strange isn’t it?). Moreover, UNICEF has also disclosed that its security, network and storage infrastructure was in the hands of a third party and that company has already issued it a statement that all was going well and accordingly.

Note- FTP servers are online repositories, where people can upload and download files and access them remotely with a secured login and password.

By Default, the FTP servers are accessed from the web browser. Similar, to an email server accessed by the user. In general, hackers practice a procedure of embedding spam email links and send them to users with a company familiar to them. When a victim clicks on these links, they become easy target to these hackers and the saga continues.

As per the report given by Alex Holden, chief information security officer of ‘Hold Security’ the attackers gained those credentials through a malware installed on the computers at the affected organization.

As soon as this news spread on a popular social media platform, few of the platform users tweeted that hack was done in order to oppose NSA Surveillance activity. Eileen Murphy, the head of communications for the times, remained silent on this issue and said that he could not reveal anything until the investigation gets concluded.

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