College Publisher Suffers from Malicious Hack Attack

As undoubtedly many student newspaper staffers now already know, the main servers for the uber-influential and widely-used College Publisher online hosting service suffered a major security breach in the middle of last week.

As a trusted source confirmed to me, “The site was hacked Wednesday night and people started deleting database and archive files for lots of student publications. It was a huge attack that caused many problems for student publications. . . . The site is back up, their Web site redesign is back, but a lot of their recent improvements were wiped out entirely.”

A statement from College Publisher defined the hack job as a denial-of-service attack, noting, “In essence, this is basically a malicious attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. . . . Fortunately the front end of the sites continued to serve without interruption, but the admin area was rendered inactive (resulting in newspapers inability to log in and post new content). . . . Since about midnight on February 3rd, our developers have worked to verify the database’s integrity.   By working through the night, we recovered the data from the database and learned that no data was lost or compromised, but the structure of the database remained in need of significant repair.”

The speed with which the CP support team has sprung into action and the smart decision to provide public updates on the homepage is impressive.  As of now, it appears it will simply mean a few more hiccups for student press staffers logging in and a mountain of work by the CP tech gurus, but no permanent harm.  If you serve on or advise a student pub that has been affected or have some knowledge about what’s going down, additional information is appreciated…

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