Feeds

FoxNews commentator Bill O'Reilly's website hacked

200 loyal followers Wikileaked

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Two days after someone broke into the email account of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, unknown intruders have hacked the website of conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly and posted personal details of more than 200 of its subscribers.

The breach into BillOreilly.com came as retaliation for remarks O'Reilly made on FoxNews condemning the attack on Palin's Yahoo email account, according to Wikileaks, a site that makes it easy for whistleblowers, hackers and anyone else to leak documents.

As proof, Wikileaks posted a screenshot of the BillOreilly.com administrative interface that showed the names, email addresses, passwords, and home town of 20 subscribers of the website. In all, information belonging to 205 subscribers was intercepted, according to Eric Marston, CTO of Nox Solutions, the company that maintained the O'Reilly website.

The hack came in response to comments O'Reilly made on Fox News about the posting of contents of Palin's email account, including pictures of her daughter and her contact list.

"I'm not going to mention the website that posted this, but it's one of those despicable, slimy, scummy websites," O'Reilly said, according to this snippet from YouTube. "Everybody knows where this stuff is, OK, and they know the people who run the website, so why can't they go there tonight to the guy's house who runs it, put him in cuffs and take him down and book him?"

It's evident from the remark that no one bothered to tell O'Reilly that Wikileaks, the first site to publish the Palin email, is a multi-national, bulletproof organization that has successfully withstood serious take-down efforts before. He's not the first conservative to have his lack of tech credentials in doubt. In July, Republican presidential candidate John McCain confessed he was still "learning to get online" and "becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need."

According to Marston, the hackers were able to access the unsecured list by trying a large number of variations of the website's administrative URL. He said all affected members have received an email and a phone call informing them of the breach and urging them to change their password anywhere they may have used it. No credit card information was stolen, and the site has since been completely locked down, Marston said.

BillOreilly.com charges $4.95 for monthly premium membership. The O'Reilly Store sells hats, mugs, T-shirts and other assorted schwag.

While the information exposed on Wikileaks may seem minimal, it has the potential to imperil the BillOreilly.com subscribers listed in ways they may not have anticipated. A case in point is Carolyn Carpenter, 68, of Henderson, Nevada. The list showed she used a six-letter word from the English language to access her account. Early Friday evening, when told she should change all accounts that used the password, she replied: "Oh damn, I use it all over the place." ®

(This story was updated to modify the headline; and to add details about McCain comments to the New York Times, about premium memberships on billoreilly.com, and about no credit card details being stolen.)

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.