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The New York Times Website: Hacked Database Analysis Report

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Updated: Jul 21st, 2021

Introduction

Databases are used by organizations to store huge information that is used to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. Since the introduction of computing systems across the world, firms have encountered problems associated with losing of information stored on databases. It has been shown that hackers may be encouraged by many reasons, for example, profit, challenges and/or enjoyment. This report focuses on discussing the hacking incident of the New York Times website.

Body

In 1998, it was reported that the New York Times website was hacked by persons who were motivated by grudge (Happy Hacker. 2013). They broke into the website on a Sunday morning to prove to a woman, who was about to publish a book on hacking, that they could gain access to any website (Happy Hacker. 2013). The incident was renamed “hacking for girls”. Interestingly, the lady was an employee of a major company that was providing New York Times with security services in relation to its website. When the criminals told her that they could hack into any site, she challenged them to gain access to a ‘secure’ website, such as that of the New York Times. In this context, it can be argued that the persons were well versed with the knowledge of breaking into computer systems. Although they knew that their actions were illegal, and they could be prosecuted in a court, they went on to execute their plans.

On that Sunday morning, the hackers periodically took control of the website and gave their remarks, which were in the form of “comment tags”. However, the remarks could only be seen on the original material (source), but not on the website due to coding issues. Just like conventional hackers, they behaved in a self-parody manner that was characterized by typing in capital letters. This has been a common observation among the criminals that is believed to make them feel like they are stereotypical computer geeks. However, during the incident, they typed without any form of mistakes. An example of the literary figures quoted was Voltaire.

It is indicated that the computer geeks used some lines after they gained control of the website, such as “immature kids were able to bypass…$25,000 firewalls (and) bypass the security put there” (Happy Hacker. 2013, par. 7). Based on the mentioned statement, it is clear that they were confident that they had achieved their mission. In fact, it was a major accomplishment to break into the computer systems of the giant firm, which was contracting the services of established company for web security. To them, they felt that they were “kids”, yet they broke into a very expensive web platform.

At some point, the hackers became very personal to the extent of using abusive language toward the woman who motivated them to break into the site. In addition, they insulted personnel of the firm who were charged with the responsibility of ensuring security of the New York Times site. They said that they were protesting against the arrest of their fellow hacker. They succeed to some extent.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that the incident involved upcoming computer geeks who felt that they were knowledgeable to break into any website across the world. In fact, they demonstrated that firms should use more effective approaches to prevent their databases from hacking.

Reference

Happy Hacker. (2013). Hackers break into N.Y Times Website. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The New York Times Website: Hacked Database Analysis." July 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-new-york-times-website-hacked-database-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The New York Times Website: Hacked Database Analysis'. 21 July.

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