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Posted at 9:07 AM ET, 12/13/2010

Gawker hacked; Twitter accounts affected

By Melissa Bell

gawk.jpg

Gawker, the reigning snark Web site was hacked this weekend, by a group calling itself #Gnosis. Thousands of passwords were compromised, including State Dept., Congressional and NASA e-mails. Gawker, a usually prolific site, had no new postings for most of Sunday and Monday morning, a Twitter virus touting weight loss through Acai berries, was likely connected to the hacking attack.

(To see if your account was in the Gawker database, go here.)

In other words: the "acai berry" spam attack looks to be connected w/ the Gawker hack rather than a worm. http://t.co/vkUpbMkless than a minute ago via web

The hackers took information from Gawker and its partner sites, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot. The group leaked a file full of Gawker statistics and all the site's user names and passwords. It also encouraged people to mine the leaked information for data that could be used on other Web sites. The leak would affect people especially if they used the same name and password combinations on other sites, such as online banking sites.

Gawker said that linked Facebook and Twitter accounts were not compromised, but on Monday, a virus spread on Twitter. The micro blogging site said the corrupted Twitter accounts were likely linked to compromised Gawker accounts. Twitter recommended users change their passwords to avoid the virus.

One of the hackers told the Web site Mediaite that it was Gawker's "arrogance" that incited the attacks. The hugely popular Web site has often reported on and criticized the actions of the message board 4-chan and Anonymous, the group responsible for the attacks on Mastercard.com and Visa.com. The group that hacked Gawker does not claim any alligence to 4-chan or Anonymous, but did cite Gawker's stories as their main motivation for revenge.

Gawker is not allowing users to delete their Gawker Media account, but has posted directions on what to do now that their site has been attacked.

By Melissa Bell  | December 13, 2010; 9:07 AM ET
 
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Comments

I just want to tell you how excited I am. After 9 days on the "Hypersonic Weight Loss" I lost 7lbs!!

Posted by: joycebaptist | December 14, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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