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A state-owned news agency in China was hacked for about an hour on Wednesday in what local media have reported to be an extortion attempt. 

The website of, the second-most followed news agency in China after Xinhua, was down from 11 pm local time on Wednesday until midnight.

Though parts of the website were restored in an hour, the agency's online service remained disrupted till Thursday, South China Morning Post reported, citing Beijing Times. 

In what is seen as a blackmail attempt, the hackers left a message on the website's homepage with a bank account number and warned that they would get the website running only after an 'unspecified' amount was deposited in the account, the report said. 

The hackers also left an ID number on an instant messaging service called Tencent QQ. 

Surprisingly, most mainland Chinese media did not report the news, according to SCMP. also did not give details of the cyber attack. 

"We are trying our best to get back to being fully operational. We have nothing to release at this moment about the hacking attack," an editor at told SCMP.