The TechCrunch website is back online after being hacked early this morning.
At approximately 6:20am GMT, the website was replaced with a message that stated: 'What a f***ing useless hack isn't it? Bleh'. A link was also given that connected to a site that contained links to adult material.
The hack did not last long however. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos reported at 9.15am GMT that the message on the TechCrunch site now reads ‘earlier tonight techcrunch.com was compromised by a security exploit. We're working to identify the exploit and will bring the site back online shortly'. At 10.05am GMT it was back up-and-running again.
An update by site engineer Andy Brett, said: “As some people noticed, at approximately 10:30pm PST on Monday evening the main site in the TechCrunch Network – techcrunch.com – was hacked and redirected. The site was back up briefly at 11:30pm but shortly went down again. As of 2:00am, the site is back up and appears to be stable.
“At this point we're still gathering information on how the site was compromised, and will update this post with additional information.”
Cluley said: “As far as we can tell at this point, the site was not infected with malware. If that is confirmed then we should all be grateful, as TechCrunch is tremendously popular with those interested in technology. Presumably the team want to double-check that their systems are now properly secured before bringing the entire site back online.
“There's no such time as a 'good time' to be hacked of course, but one can only imagine that today is a better day for TechCrunch to be hacked than tomorrow. That's when the site will be expecting a large amount of traffic as millions of people around the world look for information about the new iSlate/iPad/iTablet/iDontKnowWhatItWillBeCalled due to be announced by Apple.
“This hack is a salutory warning to all website owners that everyone has to be on their guard against hacking, whether your site is big or small.”
Karel Obluk, chief technology officer at AVG Technologies, said: “The hacking of high profile technology site, TechCrunch, highlights how easy it is to become a target of hackers and that all of us, both consumers and businesses alike, are at risk, all the time.
“If sites are indeed hacked with the sole intent of infecting users' PCs, then choosing anti-virus software that is run on the real-time tracking of threats, rather than a database-driven solution, is of the utmost importance.”