If you’ve ever left a comment on Gawker, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Defamer, or any of the other Gawker media properties, stop reading this and go change your password. The Gawker comment database got hacked over the weekend, which means many Gawker readers have probably exposed the password for Gawker and hundreds of other sites because many people use the same password everywhere. If you read any of the Gawker blogs, why are you still here – go change your password. Seriously.
Here’s what Gawker is sending site commenters about the issue:
This weekend we discovered that Gawker Media’s servers were compromised, resulting in a security breach at Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot. As a result, the user name and password associated with your comment account were released on the internet. If you’re a commenter on any of our sites, you probably have several questions.
We understand how important trust is on the internet, and we’re deeply sorry for and embarrassed about this breach of security. Right now we are working around the clock to improve security moving forward. We’re also committed to communicating openly and frequently with you to make sure you understand what has happened, how it may or may not affect you, and what we’re doing to fix things.
This is what you should do immediately: Try to change your password in the Gawker Media Commenting System. If you used your Gawker Media password on any other web site, you should change the password on those sites as well, particularly if you used the same username or email with that site. To be safe, however, you should change the password on those accounts whether or not you were using the same username.
We’re continually updating an FAQ (http://lifehac.kr/eUBjVf) with more information and will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks.
It sucks that our friends over at Gawker Media got compromised, but you might take their misfortune as an opportunity to change your password strategy, in addition to changing your password. If you used the same password at your bank and at a site like Gawker, you are putting your finances at risk for the sake of a little convenience. Use a unique password for every site you visit online. Use a password manager like LastPass, Roboform, KeePass, or 1Password to make sure you store your passwords securely. If you use a password manager, you really only need to know one password—the one that unlocks the password manager.