National Journal Gets Hacked

Atlantic Media employees received word earlier today that “unauthorized individuals” have obtained access to They first discovered this was happening on Feb. 28.

“Upon discovery, we immediately engaged an information security and forensics firm to assess any potential risk to our online readers–and to be able to let everyone within the company know what happened,” wrote Atlantic Media General Counsel Bruce Gottlieb in a company-wide memo to employees.

The Highlights…

1. “First, the unauthorized access appears to have begun on or around February 18th and we were able to revoke the access shortly after the the initial discovery.”

2. “There is no evidence that this activity affected other Atlantic Media properties or any of our centralized IT resources.”

3. “Second, the potential risks appear to apply to roughly 40,000 individuals who used Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser to visit National between February 18 and March 1 and who were referred to our site through major search engines. (In other words, it does not apply to individuals who visited our site by clicking on a link or to individuals who typed into their browsers or who have our site bookmarked.  It also does not apply to readers who use browsers other than Internet Explorer, such as Chrome, Firefox, and so forth.)”

4. “Third, users who meet the foregoing criteria may have been prompted to download software while browsing the website–and that software may be malevolent.”

5. “We have no evidence that any email addresses that users have shared with National Journal, or passwords used to log into our website, were compromised.  Nor do we believe that anybody using a computer on the Atlantic Media corporate network is at risk.”

Gottlieb assured that National Journal is in the process of notifying NJ users who may have been affected by the situation.