Gawker Security Breach Forces Massive LinkedIn Password Changes

I received two security-related emails in the last 24 hours. One email was from Gawker Media, stating that there was a breach via its commenting system. The second email arrived this morning from LinkedIn, asking me to reset my password because my account was disabled for “security reasons.”

According to this Gawker blog post, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot were all affected by the security breach.

This Lifehacker blog post has more details on the compromised accounts.

When I saw the LinkedIn email, I thought it might be a phishing attempt so I double checked the the URL in the “From” then did a Twitter search to see if there was chatter on the password check. As expected, Twitter was buzzing with early morning complaints about having to reset passwords. This is also where I saw the Gawker connection (the Gawker Media email was still unread in my Inbox).

Twitter buzzing over LinkedIn Password Changes

This is the email I received from LinkedIn, early this morning:

LinkedIn Account Disabled, email message

I still wasn’t clear on the LinkedIn/Gawker tie in until I saw this tweet from the official LinkedIn Twitter account (@linkedin).

@LinkedIn tweet about the password request

What should you do?

  • If you have a Gawker login account, change your password and don’t use the same password on other sites.
  • If you have a LinkedIn account, reset your password following the instructions in the email (go to Linkedin site, click “Sign In” then click on “Forgot Password” linke and follow directions.

Even though changing passwords is inconvenient, I’m glad the news is spreading quickly to help us protect our social Web accounts.