Gawker Media hacked, warns users to change passwords

The e-mail and password details for 200,000 Gawker Media users are now circulating on peer-to-peer networks

E-mail addresses and password details for 200,000 registered users of Gawker Media websites are now circulating on peer-to-peer networks after a weekend hack attack. The company warned users to change their passwords -- including on other sites, if they use the same passwords elsewhere.

The websites affected include Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin and Fleshbot. Users are required to register, providing their e-mail address and a password, in order to leave comments on those websites.

A group named "Gnosis" claimed credit for the attack. The compromised information is now available in a 487 MB file, which can be downloaded from peer-to-peer networks using a torrent now indexed on The Pirate Bay. Other information in the file includes something called "gawker_redesign_beta.jpg" as well as Gawker's server kernel versions.

In the torrent release notes, Gnosis said "So, here we are again with a monster release of ownage and data droppage. Previous attacks against the target were mocked, so we came along and raised the bar a little."

The stored passwords were encrypted although Gnosis said some of the passwords have already been cracked.

"We're deeply embarrassed by this breach," Gawker said on its website. "We should not be in the position of relying on the goodwill of the hackers who identified the weakness in our systems."

Those who linked their Twitter accounts with Gawker do not have to worry about those passwords, Gawker said, while those who logged into Gawker sites using Facebook Connect are safe as Gawker does not store those passwords.

Gawker is recommending that anyone who has a registered account change their password. If someone uses that the same password across other sites, those passwords should be changed as well, Gawker recommended.

"We are in the process of notifying those users who associated an e-mail address with their Gawker accounts," the company said, adding that it will create a feature by which users can delete their account entirely.

Early on Monday, the head of Twitter's Trust and Safety team wrote that a spam attack appeared to be under way on its service. The spam advertises acai berries, a kind of diet aid.

"Got a Gawker acct that shares a PW w/your Twitter acct?," said Del Harvey in a Twitter message. "Change your Twitter PW. A current attack appears to be due to the Gawker compromise."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackingcybercrimelegalpasswordsGawker Media

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?