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Whistleblowing Website Cryptome Hacked, Conspiracy Theories Do Not Abound

Mr. Young

Cryptome, a sort of proto-WikiLeaks website best known for exposing the CIA analyst who found Osama Bin Laden, announced this week that its entire website had been hacked. But, in a surprising response from Cryptome founder John Young—a man suspicious even of tap water—no foul play was suspected. At least no more foul than the usual Internet hijinks.

Reached by phone, Mr. Young explained that the site had been attacked by malware from Blackhole exploit kit 12, the latest iteration of  what TechWorld calls an insidious, but “incredibly common automated web compromise system. ” This kind of malware harvests IP addresses of people visiting the site for potential nefarious use later on, said Mr. Young.

Mr. Young discovered the malware when a reader got a virus this morning from downloading one of Cryptome’s files that had been in its directory for a long time. After some examination, his team discovered other files containing the malware script as well. Crytome, which made the breach public (part of the site’s mission to expose such security flaws), is currently in the process of completely restoring all of its  70,000 files and expects to be finished by the end of the day. Read More