This marks the third intrusion the publisher has been forced to deal with in just the past three years, and members of the staff at WaPo suspect these hackers were not working alone. They suspect the perpetators could potentially have been contracted by the US or UK governments, in an effort to acquire the documents leaked to the publication by Edward Snowden back in July.
According to company officials, dozens of usernames and passwords were lifted from their servers in the attack, likely with the intention to come back at a later date and sign in to gain access to files only the senior staff writers and editors would normally be cleared to view.
Discovered by security contractor Mandiant, the hack appears to have only spanned the course of a couple days, and nothing of value (outside of the login details) was taken while their network was under fire.
“This is an ongoing investigation, but we believe it was a few days at most,” said Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti.
The stolen credentials were stored in an encrypted format, however it’s likely those who took the information have sufficient enough computing power to eventually crack it. Despite the bad news, the Post was pleased to report that none of the employees sensitive data such as home addresses, personal details, or Social Security numbers were taken, and the sanctity of the Snowden files have also remained intact.
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