ISLAMABAD: Website of the weekly newspaper Friday Times is suspended after it was allegedly defaced by a “hacker.”
This was revealed by The Friday Times, TFT, Chief Editor and renowned journalist Najam Sethi earlier on Tuesday. According to Mr. Sethi, “The Friday Times website http://www.thefridaytimes.com has been suspended following a hacker posting malicious content under our banner. We shall be back soon.”
The Friday Times website https://t.co/JYcIfFZAG3 has been suspended following a hacker posting malicious content under our banner. We shall be back soon.
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) February 4, 2019
It is not clear what “malicious” content was posted on the website. No details were shared about the the extent to which the alleged hacker was able to access credentials of the website and whether any data of subscribers was accessed or not.
While Mr. Najam did not specify when the website would be restored, the TFT News Editor Aima Khosa expressed hope that it would be back before the upcoming weekly edition.
Guys, they hacked us because of our super awesome content. 😇 We will be back before the new edition is out. https://t.co/Kl3DhSYVLR
— Aima Khosa (@aimaMK) February 4, 2019
What is web defacement?
The initial research into the web defacement has revealed that it typically happens when a hacker is able to get unauthorized access to the website’s server. According to Singapore based technology startup Banff cyber technologies, “Web defacement is typically done by hackers who break into a web server and replace the hosted website with one of their own, using techniques such as phishing, code injection, cross site scripting etc.”
Experts also believe that web defacement could also pose serious digital threat in some cases. According to website Cybercrime.org.za, “Most times, the defacement is harmless, however, it can sometimes be used as a distraction to cover up more sinister actions such as uploading malware or deleting essential files from the server.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details surface.
Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.