[update—the RGA website has been restored. The site was back up about an hour after they first learned it had been hacked]
The website of a security firm that had been hired by anti-gun newspaper the Journal News has been hacked.
RGA Investigations website has been taken over by a group calling itself “Yildiray – SpyHatz Operational Group.” Sources indicate this hack was performed as revenge because RGA worked for the Journal News, protecting offices and executive editors during the Gungate gun-map controversy.
In late December, the White Plains-based Journal News had infamously published the home addresses of gun permit holders, including thousands of police and other law enforcement. In response to negative feedback, the newspaper then hired armed guards, a story which the Rockland County Times broke nationwide.
RGA’s website is at www.rgainvestigations.com, however the Rockland County Times does not advise readers to visit the site in case the hackers are monitoring traffic.
The Rockland County Times called RGA for comment around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 20 and staff said they were not even aware of the hack job. Last month, the Journal News customer website was also hacked and over 10,000 customers’ data was compromised. There is no indication that Journal News customers’ credit cards were accessed in this hack, however user names and passwords to the paper’s website were exposed.
A source told the Rockland County Times, “The attacks are probably reprisals for the Journal News’ gun map that endangered NY citizens and law enforcement. Such attacks may become frequent, both on such media outlets and their revenue sources.”
The hacker left an email address behind. A Facebook trace led to a Turkish account claimed to be that of the leader of the “SpyHatz” hacker group.
Homeland Security has reported increased hacker activity in the past two years, some of it coming from the Chinese government. Several major newspapers in the United States have been targeted by Chinese hackers, but this attack does not appear linked to those prior cases.