NEW YORK (AP) -- Hackers broke into USA Today's Web site and replaced legitimate news stories with phony articles, lampooning newsmakers and religions but also claiming Israel was under missile attack.
The bogus pages were viewable on USAToday.com for about 15 minutes before they were discovered shortly after 10 p.m. CDT Thursday and taken offline, company spokesman Steve Anderson said.
Anderson said the site was shut down for three hours to upgrade security. The hackers appeared to have penetrated the Web server computers from outside company firewalls, he said.
All the bogus stories, on seven pages including the site's home page, were identified as having been written by The Associated Press.
The sham missile attack report, linked from the home page, said "unconfirmed reports" from Israel cited "missiles exploding above the city" and speculation Iraq was responsible.
Another fake story claimed President Bush had named a propaganda minister; another had the Vatican claiming the Bible was an "April Fool's joke."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.