All posts in “Trendspotting”

Gawker Password Leak: Quickly Double Check for Reuse

There’s a lot of buzz around the Gawker Media leak of 1.3 million user accounts. If you use Passpack, you’re probably safe since you likely have unique passwords for every site.

From the the notice Gawker sent out (my emphasis):

This is what you should do immediately: Try to change your password in the Gawker Media Commenting System. If you used your Gawker Media password on any other web site, you should change the password on those sites as well, particularly if you used the same username or email with that site.

3 Quick Steps to Double Check

Here’s a quick way to double check your Passpack account, and make sure that your Gawker media password is not reused elsewhere.

  1. In your account, search for the names of any of the Gawker sites that you might have created an account and password for. Those are:
    • Lifehacker
    • Gizmodo
    • Gawker
    • Jezebel
    • io9
    • Jalopnik
    • Kotaku
    • Deadspin
    • Fleshbot
  2. Once you find an entry for one of these sites, copy the password.
  3. Paste the password into the search box now.

If no results are found: congrats! You’ve never reused the password and no other accounts are at risk. If you DO get a result, go change that password at the website, and make sure to record the new one in your Passpack entry.

Rinse and repeat for each one of the Gawker websites listed above.

If your business relies on protecting the access to your online accounts (and even “just” protecting your commenting cred accross the web), we highly recommend you take a moment to also do a more systematic check for weak passwords and change them.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Reuse Passwords

Remind your friends and coworkers to choose and use a password manager (I don’t care if it’s Passpack or not – just get them set up and safe for goodness sake!).

Know a business owner who needs some guidance in getting set up? Send them a note and attach Passpack’s PDF Getting Started Guide.

They’ll thank you for it. Really, they will.

This Week In Privacy: July 18, 2009

The Tech Herald

Possible Link to Twitter hack – GMail Vulnerable to Password Cracking
How was Hacker Croll able to break into accounts that were compromised during the Twitter attack? Here’s a look at a possibility.

GBM Poll: How Often Do You Change Your Password?
A look at some common sense tips about passwords and just how important it is to change them and protect them.


Does Twittergate Point Towards Bigger Cloud Security Issues?
Why should we pay more attention to security on the web? One reason could be the recent headlines of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ having his Google Apps account hacked.

GBM Poll: How Often Do You Change Your Password?

This Week In Privacy: July 11, 2009

Government Computer News

With Passwords, Simplicity Can Equal Strength
We all know that ‘remembering’ complex passwords can be a bit troublesome, which is why we use password managers, but if you insist on keeping a few passwords to memory you may want to hear these tips.

Tips For Fighting Identity Theft
With all the info out there on how to protect your identity online, there’s no reason to keep your sensitive info unsafe anymore.

This Week In Privacy: July 4, 2009

PC Advisor

Michael Jackson X-file Scam Steals Passwords
It’s no surprise that the death of the King of Pop has brought about a lot of media, but be careful while clicking on the latest links of Michael Jackson stories. Some of them may be password scams.

Mail Online

So why is the U.S. so eager to lock up the Asperger’s Syndrome hacker?
Here’s a look at the “biggest military computer hack of all time” and the man who has caught the eye of President Obama’s new security tsar.

Online Scams and Fraud Warning
When economic times are tough, new scams arise which is just what the FTC is warning Internet users about in a newly released video about web safety.

This Week In Privacy June 27, 2009

Who Should Reimburse ID Theft Victims?
One in five victims of identity theft are not reimbursed for their losses but who really pays the price of getting your personal information compromised.

delaware online

To Curb Identity Theft, 10 Tons of Documents Shredded
There are many ways to protect yourself against identity theft but here is an example of the tried and true method. Result: the shredding of 10 tons of documents!

Tips to Help You Spot Phishing Scams
Hopefully you are the one out of ten Americans who can spot a fake website or phishing scam and if you are not, here are a few tips to help get you there.

This Week In Privacy: June 20, 2009

Bozeman Demands Internet Passwords

Job applicants with the city of Bozeman are asking job seekers for the user names and even passwords to Internet social networking or Web groups they belong to. Is this policy going way too far?

EBay Enthusiast Shaken By Online Fraud, Tardy Response From Bank

Protecting your passwords is vital especially when they access your bank information. That´s what the fraud victim here learned the hard way when someone got access to her PayPal account and put through 22 transactions worth $5,325 in a single day.


Men Are Less Security Savvy Than Women

The battle of the sexes continues but this time in the Web World. Do men have weaker passwords than woman? Do they open email attachements with more nonchalance? Find out here.

This Week In Privacy: June 6, 2009

The Sydney Morning Herald

Happy National Change Your Password Day
June 5th was declared the National Change Your Password Day and for good reason – who really wants their personal accounts broken into?

Tech Republic

10 Ways to Avoid IT Security Breaches
Michael Kassner offers some solid guidelines and tips on how to avoid security breaches and you guessed it, a few involve passwords.

PC World

Hackers Claim $10,000 Prize for Breaking Into StrongWebmail
Everyone loves a good game, especially when cash prizes are involved, which is why when a group of hackers were challenged to do what they do best, it’s no doubt they got the job done.

This Week In Privacy: May 30, 2009

Password Security Questions Get More Complicated
If the typical ‘What’s Your Mother’s Maiden Name?’ questions seems too easy a question to guess, you might be interested in seeing some of the alternatives.


Online Security: White House Establishes New Cyber Czar Position
Many of us are still in suspense when it comes to the decision of who the White House Cyber Czar will be, but we will just have to wait a bit longer for President Obama’s announcement.

CIO Today

Strong Passwords Keep Your Data Safe
This tried and true password advice may seem a bit repetitive to some, but as they say, repetition is the mother of learning.

This Week In Privacy: May 23, 2009


Phishers Harvest Facebook Passwords For Profit
Identity thieves that hit Facebook last week with a new round of phishing attacks are harvesting passwords for profit.


Study: Secret Questions Don’t Safeguard Passwords
The secret question you have to create for your free email account is usually an answer that is often easily guessable by other people who know the account holder.

The New York Times

Four Ways to Strengthen a Password
Here are a few very valid password strengthening tips that everyone may probably know already especially anyone who uses a password manager.

This Week In Privacy: May 16, 2009


Cyber Crime Spreads Its Viruses
Cybercrime is constantly on the rise and here is a brief yet concise look at just how serious an issue it is. Could this wave of theft be the new virus to really watch out for?

New Identity Theft Scheme Surprises Victim
We’re all aware the crime of illegally using someone else’s credit card number to purchase goods, but what about a credit card theft that is a bit more mysterious than the norm?

Password Paranoia (or, How to Melt Your Own Brain)
A funny look into the ideas and opinions of an average Internet user trying to make sense of the rules and safety tips of password protection.