Gawker hack exposes user data, sparks Twitter virus

Gawker Media came under assault by a group of hackers calling itself Gnosis.

Gawker Media password information has been exposed by a group of hackers calling itself Gnosis.

Gawker Mediahome to a range of popular sites, including Gizmodo and Jezebel – was breached by hackers over the weekend, and the names and passwords of hundreds of users may have been exposed. Although the Gawker sites remained up on Sunday evening, few new posts were published, and Gawker management has warned regular readers to immediately change their log-in information.

"We're deeply embarrassed by this breach," Gawker reps wrote on Sunday night. "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 pointed users to a Lifehacker FAQ on the breach, which includes information on how to sign back onto Gawker Media sites.

The hackers – who said they belonged to a group called Gnosis – originally uploaded the stolen passwords and user information to Pirate Bay, but the file has since been removed from the site. Meanwhile, a related virus seems to be creeping across Twitter, with affected accounts automatically posting advertisements for an Acai Berry diet.

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Del Harvey, Twitter's director of trust and safety, told Sophos that the Twitter virus and the Gawker hack were connected. (More here.) Bottom line: Don't click anything that promises quick weight loss through small Brazilian berries, and do change your Gawker Media password.

Over at Mediaite, Gnosis members explain that they "went after Gawker because of their outright arrogance. It took us a few hours to find a way to dump all their source code and a bit longer to find a way into their database... We cannot provide any more information as to how the attack was carried out, because this could be used against us."

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