For anyone who happened to be trafficking NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute‘s website early yesterday morning, you may have been just a little freaked out. A group of hackers known as “le4derofh4ck” (Leader of Hack) managed to get past NYU’s security systems and temporally defaced the Asian/Pacific/American Institute site, with what can only be described as a very loose political statement mixed with some terrible early morning horrors.
The site resembled a creepy eBaum’s World video, with what appears to be the girl from The Ring/The Grudge/any other Japanese horror movie on the verge of popping out and eating your soul. Beneath the rotating goth chick, the hackers wrote “We love Iran. Your security is very low,” with an Iranian flag and other fun graphics appearing next to it. The hackers also embedded the lovely sounds of chanting monks, because that can only make a website better, right?
The website Cyber-N, which covers the hacker community, claimed Le4derOfH4ck wanted to deface NYU’s home page, but could only breach the Asian/Pacific/American Institute’s website, according to the code supplied by Cyber-N. It’s unclear what the hackers intentions were, but the Institute’s website, which was returned to normalcy yesterday,
is now down [update below]. The Asian/Pacific/American Institute is a research institute focusing on ”bringing scholars, community builders, and artists from around the world together in interactive forums, reflection, and new research.” Neither the Institute or NYU has released a statement regarding the breach, but we‘ll update you once we hear back.
UPDATE: Asian/Pacific/American Institute’s website is now accessible.
UPDATE 2: NYU Director of Public Affairs Philip Lentz had this to say about the attack:
“Responding to your questions about yesterday’s hacking incident, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute has taken steps to improve the security of its website. The APA website operates separately from NYU’s online servers to better enable it to interact with its external constituencies, who post to the site. While most NYU schools and organizations are on NYU servers, the APA site was created some years ago outside NYU’s online infrastructure. The attack on the NYU home page was unsuccessful because of the industry standard security protocols the University site employs.”
[Video by Jorge Morillo]