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December 13, 2010

Gawker accounts compromised, linked to Twitter spam

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by Darren Allan

Gawker Media has admitted that some of its user accounts have been compromised by a hacking attack.

The company announced that its user database had been compromised, and while the stolen passwords were encrypted, the more simplistic ones may still be vulnerable to a brute force attack.

The site advises that for safety’s sake, you should change your password, and any passwords which are the same on other services such as social networking sites or webmail.

Indeed, there has been an outbreak of spam on Twitter which is thought to originate from the passwords gleaned from this attack, the BBC reports.

Rik Ferguson, a security expert at Trend Micro told the Beeb: “It’s all too common that people use the same password for multiple accounts.”

Gawker posted: “We understand how important trust is on the internet, and we’re deeply sorry for and embarrassed about this breach of security – and of trust. We’re working around the clock to ensure our security (and our commenters’ account security) moving forward.”

“We’re also committed to communicating openly and frequently with you to make sure you understand what has happened, how it may or may not affect you, and what we’re doing to make sure this never happens again.”

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