Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Hacker Group Attacks U.S. Tech News Site for Attention

A Russian hacker group attacked U.S. technology news website CNET

A Russian hacker group has claimed responsibility for breaking into the servers of a U.S. technology news website and stealing its registered readers' data, but said that its goal was only to improve Internet security and get attention, the news site reported.

In a series of Twitter messages between a group calling itself WOrm and the website CNET, a spokesperson for the supposed hackers said the group stole the database — which includes usernames, emails and encrypted passwords for more than a million users — was a ploy for attention, "nothing more," CNET reported Monday.

Another tweet by W0rm said the group was "driven to make the Internet a better and safer [place] rather than a desire to protect copyright," the news site reported.

A spokeswoman for CNET's parent company, CBS Interactive, confirmed that "a few servers were accessed," but that the company spotted and resolved the problem "a few days ago," the report said.

WOrm had tweeted Monday that the group would sell the database for a symbolic price of 1 bitcoin (about $622), but later said that it would not complete the sale or decrypt the passwords, CNET reported.

A web security analyst at White Hat Security, Robert Hansen, said that while "it can definitely feel like a slap in the face to an organization to be hacked," little damage appeared to have been done and the episode may turn out to be a "good thing," CNET reported.

"W0rm was careful not to give the full path to the actual exploit and informed the general public that the compromise occurred," Hansen said.

See also:

Russian Diplomats in Guam Fight for Release of 'Kidnapped' Politician's Son, a Suspected Hacker

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.