Does the Washington Post Company have its own hacking scandal?

 

On April 27, 2012 the article “Insider trading probe at University of Phoenix: Washington Post Company stock sales also seen as suspect “ was published on Dailycensored.com. http://www.dailycensored.com/2012/04/27/insider-trading-probe-at-university-of-phoenix-washington-post-company-stock-sales-also-seen-as-suspect/

The article, which raised questions about stock sales by the Graham family, disappeared from Google search results less than 24 hours after it was published. Upon further investigation, it was found that most dailycensored.com articles published since October 2011 had been removed from Google search results. Coincidentally, I began publishing a series of articles critical of the Washington Post Company and Kaplan University beginning October 11, 2011.

The facts

In May of 2012, the website was hacked and hacked viciously.  To get the website functioning again, the entire site had to be rebuilt, at a cost of thousands of dollars.

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On May 18th 2011, within several hours of the rebuilt site going back on line, it was subject to another more massive cyber attack, confirming that the initial incident on April 27, 2012 was also a cyber attack.

According to the webmaster for the site:

“So, at 5:20A.M. this morning the security plugin that we use modified the htaccess file to deny all visitors. This was a result of a multi-pronged attack - including brute force password attempts to get into the site & finally multiple FTP login attempts. The attack started from 1 IP address, then spanned into hundreds.

Our security plugin did what it was supposed to do & closed the door on the attack. Unfortunatly, when I moved the site, I didn’t reinstall the site down warning, so I wasn’t notified. We have a server down notification system, but the server didn’t go down.

The site is back up now and some additional security features have been added but all of these hacks have affected our google rank. Our google ranking will be back up again after some time and it may take months. When a site is hacked google doesn’t like it and pulls it from the rankings.

 

Because it seems that someone or organizations wants to see us go down we have now hired an online security company to protect us. This will protect all of our sites from future attacks as it seems someone is out to get us. I feel confident that with all the new servers and protection that we will now be safe. That’s my update and thanks” (personal e-mail, 5/18/2012).

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The next incident involved an investigative report published on May 25, 2012 on Truth-Out.org, ‘Did Kaplan Lobby to Deregulate For-Profit Colleges While One of Its Schools Defrauded Students? http://truth-out.org/news/item/9317-did-kaplan-lobby-to-deregulate-for-profit-colleges-while-one-of-its-schools-defrauded-students

Almost immediately this article disappeared from both Google and Yahoo search results. Curiously it reappeared on Friday June 1 2012, immediately after an article was published on dailycensored.com “Are California’s lobbyists for privatized education involved in criminal activity or potential legal conflicts of interest?” http://www.dailycensored.com/2012/06/01/are-californias-lobbyists-for-privatized-education-involved-in-criminal-activity-or-potential-legal-conflicts-of-interest/

In this June 1, 2012 Dailycensored.com article the disappearance of the May 25th Truth-out article was mentioned, and almost immediately, the Truth-out article reappeared in Google search results. A Google search on June 2 indicated that the June 1, 2012 Dailycensored and the May 25 Truth-out articles were both posted on Google at about 8 pm EST on June 1, 2012.

There is no reasonable explanation of why an article published on May 25th would show up and be listed as being posted on Google on June 1, 2012, other than the article and / or Google had been tampered with.

In retrospect, the first cyber attack may have occurred on Feb 9 2012,when the original investigative article “Accreditation withdrawn for Kaplan College’s $42,000 radiography program” was published on Dailycensored.com http://www.dailycensored.com/2012/02/09/accreditation-withdrawn-for-kaplan-colleges-42000-radiography-program/

Less than 12 hours after publication, this article disappeared from Google search results. I received an e mail informing me that the article had disappeared from Google search results and less than 30 minutes later it reappeared, raising questions of whether my e mail account had been hacked.

Conclusion

Was the Washington Post Company responsible for the hacking of the Dailycensored and Truth-Out websites and for tampering with Google results? Circumstantial evidence raises serious questions which need to be investigated further.

There are also questions of whether several apparent acts of cyber harassment are related to the hacking incidents. This is currently under investigation and is being monitored on an ongoing basis by third parties.

These incidents are reminiscent of the problems plaguing Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp, and should be treated with similar seriousness and scrutiny. Such conduct would not be compatible with a publicly traded media company which holds FCC broadcast licenses and should be investigated.

A complaint will be registered with Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California along with other enforcement entities.

The Washington Post Company was contacted by e-mail, sent the substance of this story along with specific questions and asked to respond to this story several days before publication; they refused to respond to the story or to this author.

 

 

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