Military personnel targeted in cyberattack

Summary:Military-minded publications owned by publisher Gannett were hacked this month, exposing the names, passwords and e-mail addresses of active and retired military personnel.

How do you launch an attack against military personnel without trying to hack into the U.S. armed forces' systems?

Target the publications they read, of course.

Military- and defense-minded publications owned by publisher Gannett were hacked earlier this month, the company admitted yesterday, leaving the names, passwords and e-mail addresses of active and retired military personnel exposed to the attackers.

On June 7, 2011, the Gannett Government Media family of websites suffered a cyber attack that resulted in some users being unable to access parts or all of the websites. We also discovered that the attacker gained unauthorized access to files containing information of some of our users. The information in those files included first and last name, userID, password, email address, the internal number we assigned to the account, and, if provided, ZIP code, duty status, paygrade, and branch of service.

Among those publications targeted: DefenseNews, the Military Times, the Federal Times, the Army Times, the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Journal, the Armed Forces Journal, the Navy Times, the Air Force Times, the Marine Corps Times.

The company says it has hired an "outside computer forensics company" to help it investigate and strengthen its security system.

Topics: Security

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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