New York Post probes employee’s unauthorized postings

The printing plant for the New York Post.
The printing plant for the New York Post. (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

The New York Post is investigating the likelihood that a “rogue employee” was behind a series of offensive articles and social media posts that were published online Thursday morning.

The affirmation came hours after a New York Post spokesperson claimed that their website had been “hacked,” when it now appears that an employee posted unauthorized material to the news website.

The unauthorized publishing included write-ups that claimed a Congresswoman needed to be “assassinated” and another article that stated a governor from a southern state wanted the U.S. Border Patrol to execute undocumented migrants.

The offensive articles and social media posts were pulled from the web within an hour. The website of the New York Post and its social media feeds were still online as of Thursday morning.

The New York Post is owned by News Corp, which also owns the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and HarperCollins. It did not appear that the websites of other News Corp properties were impacted by the breach.

The incident involving the New York Post comes exactly one month after the website of Fast Company was breached by an unknown hacker. On that website, an attacker used credentials belonging to a Fast Company employee to publish articles using the website’s WordPress content management system. Some articles were syndicated to Apple News, which triggered vulgar push alerts that were seen by thousands of iPhone and iPad users.

After the attacker published a lengthy manifesto detailing how the attack went down, Fast Company executives pulled their website from the Internet and launched a lengthy investigation. The probe lasted nearly two weeks, during which the Fast Company website was offline. With their website pulled from the Internet, Fast Company published articles and videos to their social media pages.