Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

Summary:The Gawker attack by itself isn't a huge development. But when you put the Gawker hack in context of recent events---notably the targeting of sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal over the Wikileaks flap---the picture gets ugly in a hurry.

Gawker over the weekend confirmed that it has its commenting accounts have been hacked. Anyone that has left a Gawker comment needs to change passwords pronto. The Gawker attack by itself isn't a huge development. But when you put the Gawker hack in context of recent events---notably the targeting of sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal over the Wikileaks flap---the picture gets ugly in a hurry.

The World Wide Web is looking more like the Wild West. First there's the Anonymous group, a loosely connected group of hackers, aiming to take out any entity that made life more difficult for Wikileaks as it posted U.S. government documents. That revenge attack is easily explained. Wikileaks supporters are making a point.

According to Mediaite, Gawker was targeted by a group called Gnosis over "arrogance" toward hackers.

Now let's carry this out. If a site---media, government, e-commerce or otherwise---is on the end of a cause you disagree with a denial-of-service attack (or any other attack) cannot be ruled out.

At this rate, every site is going to be attacked. Gawker serves as a cautionary tale to button up your security procedures pronto. This hack-to-make-a-point approach is likely to pick up steam.

Related: DDoS: How to take down WikiLeaks, MasterCard or any other Web site

Topics: Browser, Security

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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