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