My first newspaper exclusive

Ok, so I’ve been a part-time technology writer for The Herald for all of three weeks. It’s going pretty well so far with positive reader feedback and even a couple of responses from companies who’s products I’ve reviewed. But last night I made the jump to mainstream news…

At around 3pm on Monday, a colleague mentioned that the Strathclyde Police site was running slowly. I had a look at their source code and noticed multiple rogue javascript tags that were sliently redirecting users to a website called robint.us. A bit more digging revealed that site was registered to an individual in China and had a history of distributing nasty viruses.

At first Strathclyde Police were dismissive, but after some persuasion regarding the seriousness of the threat, especially to any visitors running older browsers (the site robint.us has a history of distributing IE Buffer Overflow attacks) they decided to take the site down at 6pm.

At the time of writing – nearly 24 hours later – the police site is still offline.

I did most of the background research for the story in today’s Herald (which you can read here) and the story has since been picked up by a number of news sites:

I’ve also been quoted in the article. From The Herald:

Grant Gibson, digital innovation manager at the Herald and Times Group, which publishes The Herald, warned that the police should not be complacent about the potential threat.

He said: “Regardless of whether the site is active or dormant at this precise moment, the hackers have a window into the Strathclyde Police page from a location outwith their control. This ‘window’ is registered to an individual in China, which could be reactivated at any time.”