December 19, 2007
By David Darlington
The Academic Careers Wiki, a web site dedicated to providing the latest news and gossip about job openings and the status of searches in all academic disciplines, was hacked by a malicious user sometime late last week. The user, sporting an IP address from the Midwestern United States, started deleting whole fields in the wiki database, almost as fast as users could restore them. This discussion thread provides a real-time commentary of the events as they went down.
We profiled the Academic Careers Wiki on AHA Today earlier this year, praising the site for “provid[ing] a space for the quick dissemination of information about history jobs in a still-tight market.” But we also worried about the spreading of false information to job candidates (sometimes deliberately by rivals for a position), and about the effectiveness of venting into cyberspace about bad search committee behavior when “reporting such conduct to the dean of the school (or to the AHA) might actually remedy the situation and prevent future occurrences.” We certainly didn’t expect that a malicious user might try to take the whole site down.
The Academic Careers Wiki has been temporarily restored here.