Hacked, fracked and back…

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to work last week. We got hacked!

Federal News Radio and our big sister station WTOP.com were visited by the same bug.

A number of people contacted us saying their agency had cut us off. They wanted to know what was going on. Were the agencies censoring news or what?

Turns out the agencies, such as IRS, Social Security and the Army, did exactly what they were supposed to do. They detected the problem and shut down access to our sites from government computers.


Anyone who accessed us via Internet Explorer got a notification from us explaining what had happened. People could still get us via Chrome and Firefox, which many of you have on your home computers. The station continued to send out the “Federal Report” column to people who subscribe to our free email service. (To do that, click here).

So what happened? Are you kidding? You’re asking me?

Since Zong our long-time Neanderthal Man (and board-certified staff fruit-picker) retired last year, I am now the lowest man on the tech totem pole. They tease me because my cell phone is the size of a loaf of bread. All it does is make and receive phone calls. Stupid phone! It doesn’t allow me to pay bills, check for the nearest pizza place, track Lindsay Lohan or play with it during dinner so I can ignore mere humans at the table. No…

I am the Plan B guy. The master of lost arts. They keep me around to translate cursive writing. To show that, if the power goes out and the electric-eye door won’t open, it is OK to push it. It will open and it doesn’t hurt. Things like that…

Bottom line is we are back and, as you are reading this, so are you. Good times!

If you have friends or coworkers who thought maybe we had gone out of business or been banned, tell them we are alive and kicking. Always were, just that some of you couldn’t see us.

Back to work. We’ve got a world to save!

And thanks.

For a more detailed account of what happened from Executive Editor Jason Miller (who gets this tech stuff), click here.


Compiled by Jack Moore

From Newser:

Disney isn’t winning points for cultural sensitivity this month after trying to trademark the phrase “Dia de los Muertos.” … The company is working on a film inspired by the centuries-old Mexican holiday, which translates to “Day of the Dead” and celebrates the spirits of ancestors. Disney filed for the trademark on May 1, standard practice ahead of a movie to protect merchandising rights, but pulled the bid this week amid the ensuing outcry.


Obama tasks OPM with tackling equal pay in gov’t
President Barack Obama wants to make sure federal employees are getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work – regardless of gender. In a May 10 memo sent to the heads of departments and agencies, Obama tasked the Office of Personnel Management with studying whether agency practices contribute to pay inequalities between men and women and with formulating a governmentwide strategy to tackle the gender pay gap.

Senate Finance to investigate IRS targeting groups
Sen. Max Baucus says the Senate Finance Committee will investigate the IRS targeting conservative political groups, joining a growing list of congressional panels looking into the matter. The Finance Committee would be the first in the Democratic-controlled Senate to announce an investigation. The Montana Democrat is the panel’s chairman.

Fundraising from HHS secretary draws scrutiny
A fundraising push by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is drawing criticism from a key Senate Republican who questions whether she has a conflict of interest. HHS spokesman Jason Young confirms that Sebelius in recent weeks has asked various charitable foundations, business executives, churches and doctors to donate money to nonprofit organizations, such as Enroll America, that are helping to implement President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.