Motivation and Preparation

BeyondTrust, January 13th, 2011

You probably already saw last month that a group called Gnosis hacked over 1 million rows of data from Gawker, claiming the organization had some of the worst security they could have imagined. Gnosis gained access to their database in one day and even Gawker said in an internal memo that they were largely caught unprepared.

Now for your own entertainment, you should see the Wall Street who has your passwordJournal piece, which shows that over 3,000 Gawker users had the password “123456” and 2,000 had the password “password”. Everyone knows users often set poor passwords when left to their own devices, but this chart really brings it to life. Gawker clearly didn’t adequate requirements for more complex passwords.

It’s unclear how exactly Gnosis gained access to Gawker’s database. They mention that there were alot of vulnerabilities in outdated software. However what is clear is their motivation – vengeance – and why Gawker was so easy to hack – lack of preparation.