Yet another password hacking exploit highlights the question ‘how can I protect myself?’
The hack of Gawker (operator of technology sites Lifehacker, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Gawker, Kotaku, Deadspin, io9, Jalopnik and Fleshbot) servers exposed over 1.3 million accounts earlier this week and again brought attention to the vulnerability of even reputable websites.
The security breach uncovered the login details of people submitting comments on the several Gawker sites. This data was then used to hack the Twitter accounts of the individuals who use the same login and password for their Gawker site and Twitter.
Some steps to take if you have an account with one of the Gawker sites:
- Check if your account has been exposed. http://www.didigetgawkered.com/ [Duo Security] has set up a site to help with this. Whether or not your account has been exposed, yet, make sure you change passwords for any sites associated with Gawker. Make sure you also change your Twitter password.
- Pay attention to exploits. An awareness of the latest hacks and exploits will give you a chance to protect yourself.
- Use a password manager like Sticky Password for strong and unique passwords for all of your logins. Make sure that the tool or program you choose is secure and easy to use, and don’t forget to use a consistent approach for all your sites.
As shown by the exposed data, we continue to see the same irresponsible passwords that have been revealed in hacks over the past two, three years and more. At the top of the list are always strings like ‘123456’, ‘password’, ‘qwerty’ and ‘abc123’. If a bad guy knows that he has a 10% chance of getting into an account using one of these passwords, then there’s a really good chance that that’s where he’ll start. And it gets worse, too many people use the same password on several sites. Just imagine the damage a hacker can do if he discovers that your email login and password are the same that you use for your online banking!
Take a little moment to think about that. About the importance of using strong, unique passwords and about using a tool like Sticky Password to managing them easily. It will save you lot of time, keep you out of troubles.