Fast Company Back Online After Lewd, Racist Hack Attack Forces 8-Day Shutdown

After more than a week in the dark, FastCompany was back online Tuesday.

A hacker brought the independent business magazine’s website and Apple News feed down last week, putting vile and racist language where news headlines are supposed to go. FastCompany immediately shut down its website to investigate … then the clock started ticking.

“Eight days. That’s how long was offline after we were targeted in a cyberattack, first on the afternoon of Sunday, September 25, and again on the evening of Tuesday, September 27,” the zine’s Editor in Chief Brendan Vaughan said in a blog post Wednesday. “On that first Sunday, the attack hit our content management system (CMS), the software we use to create the site, and hijacked our home page, replacing every headline with an obscene and racist message that proudly claimed credit for the intrusion. Two days later, a similar message was sent to our followers in Apple News, twice in rapid succession.”

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Fast Company Suspends Apple News Feed and Shuts Site Down After Hacker Posts ‘Vile’ Messages

The company says no customer or advertiser information was disclosed, and that it’s fortified against future attacks. But eight days is a long time for a major publication to go dark.

“That didn’t stop us from doing our jobs,” Vaughn wrote. “After processing the shock of the attacks, we channeled that shock into action. When it became clear that our CMS would be down for a while, we asked ourselves: How else can we publish?”

FastCompany “had already been increasing our focus on so-called zero-click content—articles and videos that live exclusively on social platforms, with no expectation that the user will click through to our site.” Necessity being the mother of all invention, they doubled down on those efforts during the blackout.

“The following day, we launched Fast Company Daily, a LinkedIn newsletter that quickly reached 103,000 subscribers. When news broke that Elon Musk plans to buy Twitter after all, we covered it in real time via Twitter Spaces. It was all Fast Company, just not on our owned and operated site.”

Now that site is back, and the world is still turning.