Technology website TechCrunch went offline earlier today after being attacked by hackers.

At 6:30am, hackers replaced the website content with a message that read 'What a f***ing useless hack isn't it? Bleh', along with links to pornographic material.

Within a few hours TechCrunch had taken down the hacker's message and replaced it with one that read 'earlier tonight was compromised by a security exploit. We're working to identify the exploit and will bring the site back online shortly'.

The site was down for around four hours in total, with full service restored by 10am.

"At this point we're still gathering information on how the site was compromised, and will update this post with additional information," said site engineer Andy Brett.

Graham Cluley from security vendor Sophos said: "There's no such time as a 'good time' to be hacked of course, but one can only imagine that today is a better day for TechCrunch to be hacked than tomorrow when the site will, presumably, be expecting a large amount of traffic", referring to an Apple launch taking place tomorrow, which is rumoured to be a tablet device.

"The hack is a salutary warning to all website owners that everyone has to be on their guard against hacking, whether your site is big or small."

Karel Obluk, chief technology officer at AVG Technologies, added: "The hacking of high profile technology site, TechCrunch, highlights how easy it is to become a target of hackers and that all of us, both consumers and businesses alike, are at risk, all the time".

Obluk also urged web users to ensure their PCs were installed with the latest dedicated web scanning software.

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See also: Internet Explorer still leaves door open to hackers