A data breach at Gawker Media last weekend had a ripple affect for sites all over the Web.
Gawker's Web site and back-end database were compromised, and passwords, usernames, and e-mail addresses for about 1.3 million user accounts were posted on the BitTorrent site Pirate Bay. Passwords were encrypted with technology, but weak passwords can easily be cracked.
People who use the same password on multiple sites are at risk of having their accounts on those other sites compromised. This happened already on Twitter, with some accounts being used to send spam shortly after the Gawker breach was publicized. (To find out how to check if you are at risk and get more details about the incident read this FAQ.)
Professional-networking site LinkedIn said it would disable passwords of users whose e-mail addresses were included in the customer data that was exposed in an attack on the Gawker blog sites. Yahoo asked some of its e-mail users to reset their passwords but did not say whether it was related to Gawker, while World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment said outright that it reset user passwords because of the Gawker breach.
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