IT & Network Infrastructure : Eight Things to Learn from the Gawker Fiasco

By P. J. Connolly  |  Posted 2010-12-27 Print this article Print
Eight Things to Learn from the Gawker Fiasco

Eight Things to Learn from the Gawker Fiasco

by P. J. Connolly
When it became clear over the weekend of Dec. 11-12 that Gawker Media's user database had been compromised by a hacker group, perhaps the most shocking thing about the case was not the break-in itself or the sizable number of people using the Gawker sites who use a business or U.S. government e-mail as their point of contact. Instead, the real attention grabber from a technical point of view turned out to be how woefully unsecure Gawker's servers and data were. The haul included the user-and-password database, e-mail and chat room threads that detailed Gawker Media's day-to-day operations, and the proprietary source code for the Gawker sites, which the company considered an asset with commercial potential. With user identities compromised, the once-secret source code now published for anyone to pick over and more than a few people cheering at the iconoclasts hoisted by their own petard, here are eight lessons that we can learn from the humbling of Gawker's IT staff.
P. J. Connolly began writing for IT publications in 1997 and has a lengthy track record in both news and reviews. Since then, he's built two test labs from scratch and earned a reputation as the nicest skeptic you'll ever meet. Before taking up journalism, P. J. was an IT manager and consultant in San Francisco with a knack for networking the Apple Macintosh, and his love for technology is exceeded only by his contempt for the flavor of the month. Speaking of which, you can follow P. J. on Twitter at pjc415, or drop him an email at

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