New York Times Acknowledges Gawker Security Breach

Customer service recommends users change their passwords

The domino effect caused by the recent hacking of Gawker Media’s blogs has been well-documented, but, at least to this point, had not been publicly acknowledged by the New York Times customer service.

Last night, however, I got this e-mail:

From: NYTimes.com
Reply-to: nytdirect@nytimes.com
To: me
Date: Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Subject: Important Message Regarding Your NYTimes.com Account

In case you missed our recent article "Gawker Sites Hacked and Passwords Compromised"
http://nyti.ms/hjNvlY we are writing to inform you that databases belonging to Gawker Media were compromised and hackers obtained more than one million user names, e-mail addresses and passwords.

While there is no evidence of suspicious activity on NYTimes.com we wanted you to know that the e-mail address you registered with NYTimes.com matches an e-mail address that was on the list of Gawker e-mail addresses and passwords that were published online.

If you use the same password for NYTimes.com as you did for Gawker, we strongly recommend
you change your password. Changing your NYTimes.com password can be accomplished by visiting the Member Center page: http://www.nytimes.com/membercenter.  After logging in to your account, click on the 'change' button associated with the password field which can be found under the Account Summary heading.

Here's a Gadgetwise post with tips on developing a good password (in brief: do not make it a real
word, keep it long and mix in an unusual combination of letters and numbers). http://nyti.ms/gGR3kz

Please contact Customer Support at 1-800-698-4637 or e-mail customercare@nytimes.com with
any questions.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

The New York Times Company
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

A little late, considering I received similar messages from BlackBerry, GoDaddy and a host of other sites a week ago or more, recommending the same thing.

Alas, better late than never.