On Christmas Day, a crook tried to sell system access to a type of website often used for handling the transport of large data files.
“While it is not known if the hacker found any buyers, the BBC's security team responded to the issue on [Dec. 28] and believes it has secured the site, according to a person familiar with the cleanup effort,” Reuters reports.
The intrusion compromised a server that manages an obscure password-protected website -- ftp.bbc.co.uk. It is unclear whether the attackers retrieved data or caused any damage during the incident.
Ftp systems are typically used to manage the transfer of large data files over the Internet.
Hold Security LLC, a firm that tracks stolen information in underground Web forums, discovered the breach.
“The firm's researchers observed a notorious Russian hacker known by the monikers ‘HASH’ and ‘Rev0lver,’ attempting to sell access to the BBC server on December 25,” company founder Alex Holden told Reuters.
"HASH" showed forum users files that could only be accessed by somebody who really controlled the site.
Hackers often view such access as a key that could grant entry to more of a victim’s systems.
"Accessing that server establishes a foothold within BBC's network which may allow an attacker to pivot and gain further access to internal BBC resources," Justin Clarke, with cybersecurity firm Cylance Inc., told Reuters.
Earlier this year, BBC was targeted by the Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-regime hacktivist group that often vandalizes websites and takes over Twitter feeds belonging to media companies.
ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.