The online hacktivist group Anonymous conducted a cyber attack on high-profile Embarcadero News Group against alleged harmful content on their sites.
Numerous Bay Area community newspapers couldn’t offer their visitors any news on Thursday due to Anonymous’ over zealous hacking efforts.
Resultantly, several Down Bay Area newspaper websites went offline including those of Palo Alto Weekly, The Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Pleasanton Weekly. The attack happened at 10:30 P.M on Thursday.
Embarcadero News Group’s sites offered the image of a person or figure wearing the infamous Guy Fawkes mask. A message was also posted on the page that read:
“Embarcadero Media Group (Almanac) has failed to remove content that has been harmful to the well-being and safety of others. Failure to honor all requests to remove content will lead to the permanent shutdown of all Embarcadero Media Group Websites.”
This was followed by the customary threat-like-slogan of Anonymous:
“We do not forgive, we do not forget, we are legion.”
All the Embarcadero News Group websites remained offline on Friday as well. The newsgroup claims that the sites have been taken offline voluntarily and the news content is being distributed through the group’s social media platforms, i-e, Twitter, Issuu and Facebook.
Breaking: All Embarcadero Media Group websites have been hacked, including Palo Alto Online. pic.twitter.com/bVChRDkLDe
— The Paly Voice (@thepalyvoice) September 18, 2015
According to Jocelyn Dong, the editor at Palo Alto Weekly, the staff doesn’t actually know what the specific issue or dispute the newsgroup has had with the hackers. Dong termed the attack as “baffling.”
“We don’t know if the statement about The Almanac is truly the cause or if they’re just using that as a front for hacking in general.”
At the time of publishing this article, all targeted websites were restored and working online. However, San Jose reports that all restored websites are currently serving virus on visitors’ computers.