Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Nick Denton "So Very Sorry" About Giant Gawker Media Hack

It takes something pretty catastrophic for Nick Denton to apologize in public. So mark this one down: The Gawker Media owner says he’s “so very sorry” about the hacking attack that exposed some 1.5 million of his readers’ passwords.

Denton being Denton, he made his mea culpa in a relatively obscure corner of his blog network–an open comments thread with Gawker readers. And if you had a bit too much of the wrong kind of skepticism, you might think that this photo Denton posted to the thread was a bit cavalier:

But nope, says Denton. That’s real contrition: “Okay, here you go. That’s me on the left and Tom Plunkett, our CTO, on the right. We’re looking appropriately glum. It didn’t take any acting.” (Also worth noting that Denton was responding directly to a reader request for “a photo of yourself wearing a dunce cap or something of that nature. With a big ‘I’m sorry’ sign.”)

In more important news: Denton’s sites, which stopped posting yesterday afternoon as a result of the attack, are now back up again. And if you’ve ever left a comment on one of the sites, you should go there and change your password, then do the same at any other site where you’ve used the same login/password combo.

A few other notes:

  • Gawker Media says that readers who used Twitter or Facebook logins to leave comments on the blog network haven’t been affected. But people who used the same login on Gawker as they have on Facebook or Twitter may very well be in trouble. Which may be one reason so many Twitter users I know are now promoting a bogus weight-loss berry.
  • There’s a Google document that contains some of the hacked email/login info, and something called Hint has been emailing some hacked commenters with a reminder to change their passwords. (Who are they? Why do they want to associate their yet-to-launch site with a security breach? Anyone?) But not finding your info on the document and not getting an email doesn’t mean you don’t have a security problem. Play it safe and change your password now, regardless.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle