One of the scary things about managing a network at a business is not knowing exactly where employees will go on the web, and an example of that came via a hack of popular social media website Tumblr. With this virus comes a pop-up message that TechCrunch describes as something "that would scare anyone's mom." Data security threats like this go to show that companies need to be flexible with how they are making sure their websites and online presence is kept safe at all times.
"There is a viral post circulating on Tumblr which begins 'Dearest ‘Tumblr’ users,'" the website said in a statement to the news source. "If you have viewed this post, please log out of all browsers that may be using Tumblr immediately. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible. Thank you."
Thus far, victims include Tumblrs of The Verge and CNET, according to TechCrunch and USA Today. The Next Web said the hacking group responsible for this took advantage of a vulnerability on Tumblr, something a group spokesman for the attackers said the website was aware of for weeks.
DigitalTrends quoted a spokesman from the hacker collective who said the guy who found the bug messaged him and they started exploiting it within a few short hours. He said it appears that it has affected as many as 6,000 unique users, something he did not expect to happen. Tumblr said this worm has now been removed and the company followed up with what the website called a "terse blog post" saying that all posts related to the attacks have been removed from the social media blogging website.
"This morning, some of you may have noticed a spam post appearing repeatedly on your Dashboard and on the blogs of a few thousand affected accounts," Tumblr said on its website. "We quickly identified the source, removed the posts, and restored service to normal. No accounts have been compromised, and you don’t need to take any further action. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. As always, we are going to great lengths to make sure this type of abuse does not happen again."
Guarding against future attacks
InformationWeek said one security company believes that this was a fast spreading worm that breeds via clicks. About 170 million people use the website, which means it could have easily spread much quicker. Many small businesses use this website as well, Kevin Casey wrote on the news source, meaning that future occurrences of bugs like this are something that organizations will need to keep an eye out for.
The first thing the website said businesses should do is be sure their code is on point, as this could be the source of a lot of problems with hackers and other bugs.
"That appears to be the case in Monday's breach, according to Sophos' technical breakdown of the Tumblr worm," the website said. "Code vulnerabilities can lead to malware, SQL injections, and other security exploits. Whether you write your own code, use someone else's, or manage a combination of both, don't simply trust that it's all safe and secure. Give your code a regular checkup. Start with your Internet service provider or website host; ask what vulnerability testing and monitoring services they provide. It's possible such services are included as part of your existing agreement."
If not, InformationWeek said there are plenty of security vendors out there who could take care of this for the company with automaton of tasks or other security features. Other things companies can do, the website said, include:
– Get rid of old blogs and websites that aren't monitored or reviewed by the company anymore
– Always keep frequently used applications up to date. Patches and updates are a big part of data protection for programs companies use
– Use any minor incident that takes place as something of a learning experience to stop the next big attack
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro.