NewsOK.com was compromised…
11:31 AM EDT on May 15, 2014
It looks like the "state's most trusted news" isn't so trusted.
Mark Gower, the state's Chief Security Officer, announced yesterday that his Cybercommand Unit was blocking access to NewsOK.com. If you noticed State employees being cheerful and productive yesterday, I guess that explains it.
Here's an email that was forwarded to us via the Ogle Mole Network:
Out of an abundance of caution the State of Oklahoma Cybercommand is actively blocking access to the NewsOk.com website.
We apologize for the impact but we believe this is a necessary step to provide the security required for the state.
We recommend all agencies that have abilities to impact website blocking to implement the same until a release is provide by the State CyberCommand.
Mark Gower, C|CISO, CISSP, CISM, CBCPState of Oklahoma - Chief Security OfficerState of Oklahoma CyberCommand DirectorOklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services – Information Services Division
That's interesting. I wonder why they blocked access? Were they tired of state employees being Carlsoned? Did Steve Lackmeyer's OKC Central chats crash the system? Did too many people click on "13 Gifs of Kevin Durant playing with Puppies?"
No, it was actually something much worse. The Oklahoman tried to explain the situation with the following Facebook post:
The Oklahoma Publishing Company has become aware of a malicious software threat, commonly known as malware, on its websites. With assistance from the FBI, it was determined that one of OPUBCO’s servers had been compromised, resulting in a potential threat affecting a limited number of Internet Explorer users who accessed the home pages of NewsOK.com and Oklahoman.com. The FBI works with large corporations in tracking cyber attacks.
This malware does not affect Mac computers, Firefox, Safari and Chrome browsers or mobile users. No personal financial information was compromised.
"We quickly responded, isolated and removed the immediate threat," said Chris Reen, publisher of The Oklahoman. "We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will communicate more information, if need be."
Okay, so it only affected a limited number of Internet Explorer users. Basically, the old people who don't adapt or change with technology, or as we like to call them, Oklahoman readers. Seriously, way to alienate your base. Right now there's some old dude on the southside trying to defrag the hard drive on his Gateway 2000 computer because of all of this. That's totally cutting into his Freecell time.
Anyway, I'm not going to criticize the Oklahoman too much for this snafu. For one, stuff like this happens. Maybe the Malware was put on their site by impatient hackers trying to gain early access to Oklahoman articles? Just kidding. Nobody cares about that.
Two, we've had our own problems with blocked access. Check out what happens when you try to view TLO from the Quail Springs Mall wifi:
Yep. Quail Springs Mall thinks we're a porn site. For some reason, I consider that an honor.