The website of one of Nigeria’s leading entertainment publications, Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET) was hacked and taken over on Thursday by unknown hackers, Techloy has learnt.
NET, published by NET Newspapers Limited delivers news, entertainment and celebrity gossip to audiences through its website — theNETng.com — and its entertainment-focused newspaper publication published weekly.
The hackers who took control of the entertainment site appear to have infected the site with a malicious bug which instantly redirects the site to several relatively unknown sites.
NET confirmed the site hack in a Twitter update and revealed that the hackers have established contact with them via e-mail, demanding an undisclosed sum of money as ransom.
While NET said they were reviewing the situation with their lawyers and IT team who are working to resolve the issue within the shortest possible time and restore the website, the site has been unavailable for the past 24 hours now since the attack.
NET, which was founded in 2010, recently announced plans for the inaugural Nigerian Entertainment Conference scheduled to hold on April 26 in Lagos, as part of activities marking its third anniversary.
We’ve reached out to NET for more details and would update you as we know more.
Update: April 19, 2013 – NET’s publisher, Ayeni Adekunle released an official statement saying that the board is convinced it was a calculated attack by detractors to unsettle and distract their activities.
“It is the first time since we registered the domain in 2009, that such security breach would occur. And even though we considered our readers, advertisers and partners, our management took a firm decision not to engage with the criminals,” said Adekunle. “We decided instead, to work with our registrar, our in –house IT team, and consultants to legitimately reclaim our domain, while setting up a new destination – www.thenetng.net – as our home until this is resolved. We are aware this may take some time, but it is a sacrifice we are willing to make,” he added.
Update: April 22, 2013 – NET has provided a detailed account of how cyber-criminals hacked their website by first gaining access into their Gmail account, gaining access to their domain hosting account at Godaddy, and making sure that all emails from Godaddy filtered to trash, so it won’t be seen in the inbox.
According to NET, the hacker then transferred the domain thenetng.com out of NET’s Godaddy account (while Godaddy alerted NET, sending series of confirmation E-mails to NET’s Gmail, all correspondence filtered to trash) into another hosting company Onlinenic making it look like a legal transfer.