Over the weekend, Gawker Media was hacked by a group calling themselves Gnosis. Chaos ensued, with a battle for control over the site playing out as Gawker techs took down the Gnosis post and Gnosis replaced it. Gawker seems to have won in that battle — sort of. As of this morning, there have been no new posts on the site since the management message from yesterday at 3:34 p.m., “Commenting Accounts Compromised — Change Your Passwords.”
It bears noting that that post now has 154,921 views, trailing just behind “Watch the Metrodome Collapse from the Inside” at 167,028. How…poetic. While there have been no new posts on Gawker and Jezebel (or, for that matter, Fleshbot), other Gawker Media sites Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Kotaku, and Deadspin seem be be operative again.
There’s currently a bar at the top of each Gawker Media homepage page that says “Important: Gawker Commenting Accounts Compromised, Change Your Passwords. (more info).” Linking to that gets you a Lifehacker post from yesterday at 10:57 p.m. that’s basically an FAQ on the event. Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot were all compromised by the takedown, so if you’ve ever registered an account on any of those sites “it’s best to assume that your username and password were included among the leaked data” and
You should immediately change the password on your account, and if you used that password on any other web site, you should change your passwords on all of those accounts as well.
People who used Facebook Connect are okay — they never stored those passwords, apparently, nor Twitter passwords, although if you’re using the same password for many accounts, that could get you in trouble. And, the Gawker hack may have turned into a Twitter hack — Via Business Insider, “People who use the same password for their Gawker accounts and their Twitter accounts are seeing their accounts hacked.”
This is going to change how we think about passwords completely, people.
Account deletion is currently not an option on Gawker’s sites.
Read the full FAQ on Lifehacker here. We’ll continue to update as this evolves.
UPDATE: Gawker posts happening normally; do not click on a tweet about acai berries, although why you would in the first place is beyond us.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 13, 2010