Late in the evening yesterday, online vandals defaced a Web site hosted by the New York Times at business.nytimes.com, replacing the real page with their logo and a taunt for the system administrator. While the defacement was removed, the page was still down this morning.
Attrition.org, a Web site that collects, disseminates and distributes information about the computer security industry, reported the defacement, claiming it maintains the largest archive of Web site defacements.
A New York Times spokeswoman said the servers targeted in the attack were being outsourced to another company for the hosting of business data. There were no security breaches at New York Times-operated servers, she said.
The spokeswoman said the problem had been resolved but the company was waiting to re-establish security before restoring links to the site.
The group claiming responsibility for the attack, dubbing itself “Sm0ked Crew,” has vandalized Web pages on the sites of several major U.S. companies since Feb. 11. Hackers claiming membership in the group have attacked pages belonging to Intel, Compaq, AltaVista, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, CompUSA, Disney's Go.com and Gateway.
In each case, the welcome page of the Web sites was not attacked. The defacers targeted other pages on the site, such as remote.go.com and jobs.gateway.com.
Between November and January, a Brazilian group of Web defacers calling itself “PrimeSuspectz” vandalized the overseas Web sites of several major corporations, including Microsoft New Zealand; Nintendo's sites in Mexico, South Africa and Spain; eBay Taiwan; AT&T Italy; and Ericsson Taiwan.