[ISN] Courier & Press Newspaper Hacked

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sun Feb 21 1999 - 00:01:21 PST

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    Forwarded From: William Knowles <erehwonat_private>
    (SJ Mercury News) EVANSVILLE, Ind. [2.20.99] -- A computer hacker gained
    access to online classified advertisements at the Courier & Press, said
    company president Vince Vawter.
    The hacker altered wording in more than a dozen ads in the electronic
    edition of the ``Fast Trak'' automotive publication. Ads in the printed
    version of ``Fast Trak'' were not affected. The incident was reported to
    the FBI. Electronic advertising can be viewed by persons across the nation
    and is considered a form of interstate commerce. 
    ``I think it may have been a prank, but it's very serious,'' said Vawter.
    ``It's tampering with a commercial message. These advertisers are paying
    us to put that message out there.''
    The electronic ads are part of the Courier & Press online edition.  Online
    ads are protected with a password that is changed periodically.  But
    further precautions will be instituted to protect the on-line publication.
    Vawter said the ads were paid for by an area car dealer. He declined to
    identify the car dealer or what message the hacker posted in the dealer's
    The Courier & Press is taking steps to identify the hacker.  Vawter said
    it is important to protect the integrity of online advertising.
    ``Electronic commerce is certainly in its infancy, but it's going to be a
    growing field. We consider this to be like somebody coming into our shop
    and changing the wording in our ads,'' he said.
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