Washington Post, Twitter join other US media outlets on hacker hitlist

The Washington Post disclosed Saturday that it too had suffered a cyberattack and suspects Chinese hackers were behind it, joining Twitter and major US media outlets that have endured such intrusions.

The Post said in a front page story the attack was detected in 2011. It said Post company officials would not comment on the circumstances, duration of the intrusion or apparent origin.

The paper quoted Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti as saying the paper worked with a security company to detect, investigate and resolve the situation "promptly" at the end of 2011.

"We have a number of security measures in place to guard against cyberattacks on an ongoing basis," Coratti was quoted as saying.

Social media giant Twitter also acknowledged it had become a victim, saying hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users. The company said in a blog post on Friday that it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected. But Twitter discovered the attackers may have stolen user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users they describe as "a very small percentage of our users".

Nonetheless, the company reset the pilfered passwords and sent emails advising the affected users.

The online attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into computer systems of US media and technology companies, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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