New York Times source code leaks on 4chan

Wordle on New York Times
(Image credit: ShutterStock)

Do you want to build a clone of The New York Times, or the publication’s now-famed Wordle mini-game? You can probably do that now, thanks to a 4chan user.

The Register reports an anonymous 4chan user posted a new thread in which they shared “basically all source code belonging to The New York Time Company”. 

The archive contained some 5,000 repositories, and 3.6 million files, which were made available for download via peer-to-peer networks. Among the files are Wordle blueprints, email marketing campaign information, ad reports, and more.

Possible major headache

The leaker also said that “less than 30” repositories were encrypted. However, the claims could not be verified at this time, and The New York Times is keeping quiet.

The Register, which apparently took a glance at the stolen data, says that if its authenticity is confirmed, the leak could turn into quite the headache for the media. “There's a lot of JavaScript and TypeScript in there, judging by the filenames, plus some personal information,” the publication says, adding that while this might be stolen, it might also have been scraped from the public site.

This is not the first time the New York Times was a victim of a cyberattack. More than a decade ago, back in 2013, a hacking collective calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) briefly took the site down. At the time, it was reported that the attackers managed to phish their way into a Melbourne IT reseller account. From there, they managed to take down not just The New York Times, but also Huffington Post UK.

In some instances, the attackers simply took the site down. In other instances, they defaced it and replaced it with their own messages.

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.