Gawker Hacked by Gnosis

By Cindy Waxer December 14, 2010

Gawker now joins a growing list of companies that have recently fallen prey to a hacker attack. The New York Post reports that the FBI is scheduled to meet with Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton to review the crippling effects of the weekend’s attack by a group called Gnosis.

According to the Post, hackers snatched the passwords and email addresses of more than 100,000 of the 1.3 million registered users who rely on the site for their daily doses of celebrity gossip, political snafus and high-tech happenings.

In a statement released by Gawker, the media outfit admitted embarrassment by the breach and urged users to change their passwords.

“Our user databases appear to have been compromised. The passwords were encrypted. But simple ones may be vulnerable to a brute-force attack. You should change your Gawker password and on any other sites on which you’ve used the same passwords. …We’re deeply embarrassed by this breach. We should not be in the position of relying on the goodwill of the hackers who identified the weakness in our systems. And, yes, the irony is not lost on us,” the post says.

Twitter was also attacked – a plan made easy by the fact that some Gawker subscribers use the same username and password for their Twitter accounts. As reported earlier, Gawker provided tips for creating strong passwords.

So what made Gawker the target of hackers? The Post reports that Gawker’s criticism of the hacker group, 4Chan, which is connected with Anonymous, the group allegedly responsible for taking down MasterCard, put the media outfit in Gnosis’s crosshairs.

Earlier this month, hackers have launched attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Swedish prosecutors, a Swiss bank, and other entities that have come down hard on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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