At around 7 pm EST Tuesday, an unknown hacker—using computers in Argentina and Finland—gained access to a server that hosts several of The Atlantic’s blogs. After trying to penetrate other machines in our network, the hacker added a small, 22-line program that modified three of our blogs to direct unsuspecting readers to a compromised server in China. Such is the global world of hacking.
As a result, each time a new entry or comment was posted to the blogs of Megan McArdle, Ta-Nehisi Coates, or Ross Douthat, this program appended the link to a piece of malware on the infected Chinese computer. Users clicking this link were prompted to open an infected file (load.exe). Users with virus-protection software on their machines were warned about the rogue file that their browsers were attempting to download; those without may have inadvertently infected their computers. By Wednesday morning, users attempting to download the file report that they received a 404 error because the compromised server had been taken offline.
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Editorial Director, TheAtlantic.com