Full access to the news websites FederalNewsRadio.com and sister station WTOP.com was fully restored Saturday after a hacking attack had temporarily blocked some users’ access last week.
“We have found and eliminated the vulnerabilities that were exploited,” said John Spaulding, the Washington director of information systems for parent company Hubbard Radio.
Access to the websites from Internet Explorer web browsers was temporarily blocked after an initial review suggested the hackers may have targeted Internet Explorer users and exposed them to potential viruses, according to a news release from the stations.
An investigation was launched to determine how the sites’ security was compromised. Malicious code was removed and additional security measures were installed. The stations advised that all users who accessed the websites from any web browser during the cyber attack, which occurred from May 5 to May 7, update and run their security software and perform a malware scan on their computer.
In addition, the passwords for all registered users and users who receive breaking news, daily headline or other emails from both websites have been reset. These users have been contacted directly, informed of the need to reset their passwords the next time they visit the websites, and encouraged to change their passwords on other websites where they use the same password.
Joel Oxley, senior vice president and general manager of WTOP and Federal News Radio, said in the news release that restoring access to the websites and making them safe for users has been a priority.
“We take our users’ privacy very seriously, and we have taken steps to prevent similar occurrences,” Oxley said. “We apologize to our user community for any inconvenience that this incident has caused.”