M&G Online falls prey to hackers - TechCentral

M&G Online falls prey to hackers

Nic Dawes

The Mail & Guardian’s website has been shut down temporarily after coming under a severe attack by hackers.

“Because of the scale and severity of the assault we have decided to shut down the site while securing and repairing it,” says online editor Chris Roper.

“This was a painful decision for a news organisation such as ours to take, compromising as it does our ability to keep updated about 750 000 users in SA and around the world. We cannot, however, risk compromising their security.”

A technical team was working “flat out” to try to restore the site as soon as possible.

This is the second time in a week that the site has been hit by cyber security troubles. Hackers compromised the site at the weekend, planting a virus masquerading as antivirus software.

Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Nic Dawes says: “We’d like to extend sincere apologies to all of our users, and hope that they will understand that we had to prioritise their security over other considerations for a brief period.”  — Staff reporter, with Sapa


  1. That’s what you get for running 2+ year old versions of PHP. Sorry but it’s hard to feel sympathy when it was 100% preventable.

  2. The site was highly unstable for a long time. M&G knew they were running a sub-standard setup and have no excuse for the egg on their faces.

    Go look at Times Live for some hints on how to do it.

    A deservedly ‘MASSIVE FAIL’.

  3. I was a victim to M&G’s virus attack. At the time the time came under huge attack, I was online and on the M&G page at that time.

    I then saw the same window showning on my screen asking to scan my Laptop for viruses and then later asked me to fill in a form with my credict card details. Fortunately I do not have a credit card and therefore did not have to fill it in as I suspected it might have been a scam – I then shut down my Laptop and a few days later I heard that M&G was attacked.

    I then notified Nic, and Chris Ropper on Twitter of my being a victim of the scam that has attcked their Site.

    And because I did not have an anti-virus at that time, I was severel affected.

    In a few days later when I tried to switch on my Laptop, the same screening appeared on my Laptop to date and I do not know what to do.

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