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Gawker Password Hack Fallout

December 14, 2010

This weekend, Gawker Media’s servers were hacked, leaving many user accounts and their corresponding passwords vulnerable.  Nearly 1.25 million accounts, including more than 500,000 user e-mails and more than 185,000 decrypted passwords, were posted to the web at a torrent site.  And right now, some hackers appear to be using those usernames and passwords to access systems and make false posts.

The implications are far reaching for most users whose credentials were compromised.  You see, most users re-use their passwords on multiple websites.  Do you?

A quick browse through the compromised passwords yields “123456” and “password” as the most common passwords used by those registered at Gawker Media.

Implications:

Effective security starts with user education and awareness.  Users must understand that their password is the only control preventing an attacker from gaining access to their entire online world.  Once compromised an attacker can hijack email, hijack the ability to order goods and services, access credit history, read you facebook (twitter, linkedin, and any other site).  Educate your users about using strong and varied passwords.

 

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