New Headache for Publishers: Hackers Hit Content Network
Content recommendation service Outbrain was hacked today, possibly by the Syrian Electronic Army.
Links across the Outbrain network directed users to the website of the hacker group, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. The company has suspended its service as a result.
“This seemed to have been going on for 20 to 30 minutes, after which we took down the service. The breach now seems to be secured and hackers blocked out, but we are keeping the service down for a little longer until we can be sure it’s safe to turn it back on securely,” Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai told Digiday.
The service remained down at the time of publish, but Galai said the company is investigating how the hacking occurred.
Content recommendation services such as Outbrain have, ironically, been criticized for sending users to spammy, sometimes malicious sites. Outbrain itself says it’s been making a conscious effort to clean up its network, and to raise the quality of the advertisers it works with. This week, for example, it announced a partnership with transaction monitoring firm BillGuard to help weed out shady marketers across its network.
The hacking issue is a completely separate one to the quality one, of course, but it doesn’t help the image of a business that already has a bad name among many consumers.
It also raises the question of how secure third-party publisher technologies really are. Publishers paste pieces of code on their sites from all over the Web, and this type of news highlights how insecure that practice can be.
We’ll update the story as we learn more.
‘It’s an undervalued growth channel’: Publishers, eager for subs, increasingly see high value in newsletter referral programs
Referral programs are a more deliberate and proactive method for getting existing subscribers to recommend a newsletter.
‘You need to fix the entire line’: Publishers’ sales and revenue teams struggle with entrenched diversity problem
Media organizations have been trying to confront the lack of diversity in their newsrooms. But they face an even bigger problem on the sales and revenue side.
Advertisers were cutting their Facebook ad spending well before the boycott began
Eleven of the 20 largest Facebook advertisers to boycott have been reducing the amount they spend on the platform over the last two years.
SponsoredWhy data clean rooms are a start, but not enough
Clean rooms are intended to be a “safe space” for brands to collaborate with walled gardens, but the greater opportunity for all brands is bringing together all of their data to create a single source of truth that they own and can continually enrich.
Member ExclusiveFacebook in the age of revolt
Facebook's stalemate with advertisers is likely to stretch on as both sides dig in.
TikTok’s self-service platform launch is perfectly timed to kick Facebook while it’s down
'I can’t emphasize how aggressively [TikTok] is trying to take share at the moment,' said one agency exec.