Some hackers are attacking the Awl network of websites -- so The Awl, The Hairpin, Splitsider, The Billfold and The Wirecutter -- and the whole group are now blocked by Google's big, red malware warnings.
Head Awl Choire Sicha confirmed the attack with The Atlantic Wire. "Oh it's an actual attack," he told The Atlantic Wire over Gchat. "But a boring one. Not our first by any means." The technical details are almost too boring to report. "It's just like in Swordfish, John Travolta is making someone sit at a computer and capture the indielectual market," Sicha told us. Well, unless it's actually like how Sicha describes: "OMG, it's like blood and guts, it's like when she hatched the dragons with witchcraft on Game of Thrones." The real culprit seems to be an advertising update. "I'm going to shove this rusty knife into our OpenX installation," Sicha said before departing
If you visit any of the Awl family sites right now you're greeted by the familiar Google do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 malware warnings. "Google Chrome has blocked access to thehairpin.com for now," it reads. "Content from thehairpin.com, a known malware distributor, has been inserted into this web page. Visiting this page now is very likely to infect your [computer] with malware," Google warns. Poor Hairpinners, they are normally so nice and someone is trying to ruin their reputation.
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We don't know when the sites will be back up yet. "I will update you as events warrant," Sicha said.