New Zealand Herald falls victim to XSS prank

The hack caused the site's text to be reversed and photos and graphics to rotate clockwise

The New Zealand Herald's website had spinning photos and backwards text on Friday morning after it evidently was the victim of an amusing cross-site scripting attack.

The New Zealand Herald's website had spinning photos and backwards text on Friday morning after it evidently was the victim of an amusing cross-site scripting attack.

The New Zealand Herald's website had spinning photos and backward text on Friday morning after it evidently was the victim of an amusing cross-site scripting attack.

Cross-site scripting is an attack in which a script drawn from another website is allowed to run that shouldn't. In the case of the newspaper, the attack appeared to pull a piece of Javascript from the website of a Los Angeles-based software developer, David Lynch.

Lynch describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as working for deviantART, a social network for artists. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment, but it appears the batch of code, named "eyewonder.js," wasn't specifically intended to target the newspaper website, but rather is a general script designed to manipulate elements on a Web page.

Cross-site scripting, abbreviated as XSS, is one of the most common coding flaws in Web pages but can also have much more dangerous impacts than what visibly affected the New Zealand Herald. An XSS vulnerability can be used to steal data from a website or cause other malicious code to run.

The newspaper, which is owned by APN Holdings NZ Limited, could not immediately be reached for comment.

It may be coincidental, but a hacking conference called Kiwicon is due to kick off tomorrow in Wellington. Kiwicon's blog mentioned the New Zealand Herald's hack on Friday morning, along with two other security-related incidents: a Wi-Fi outage on an airport bus and payment system problems in Wellington.

It's not unheard of for hackers to show off their skills during conferences by attacking infrastructure or even the computers of other conference attendees. Kiwicon runs through Sunday.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityAPN Holdings NZ LimitedExploits / vulnerabilities

More about APN

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jeremy Kirk

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place