An incredibly fast-moving worm has taken down a large number of Tumblr-hosted blogs, including USA Today, Reuters, The Verge and CNET blogs.
A group calling itself GNAA (an acronym for a whole bunch of hateful language; Google it if you want to know) says it took down 8,600 Tumblr blogs. The number hasn’t been independently verified, but it is safe to say the worm hit a large number of sites.
The following image (without the scrubbed-red text) was used to deface all the sites:
The attack moved so fast, according to Sophos’s Naked Security blog, because:
An alleged representative of the group told Gawker the attack was an attempt to alert Tumblr management to what is clearly a significant security problem:
"We contacted Tumblr about this weeks ago and nothing came of it. This was a serious issue that needed to be fixed. Someone would have done a lot worse than just posting a message over and over if they didn't fix it right away..."
Given the juvenile name of the group it is difficult to think this action really stemmed from a desire to do good. If it weren’t for all the hate, I would almost appreciate the crazed, anarchic language in the GNAA post
"YOU EMO, SELF-INSISTING, SELF-DEPRECATING, SELF-INDULGENT EMPTY HUSKS OF HUMAN BEINGS. REPEAT AFTER ME: I WISH I WAS PROFOUND, BUT I’M NOT! I WISH I WAS ORIGINAL, BUT I’M NOT!"
There’s definitely room for some good, free-form, peculiar, ad hominem street-theater type attacks on the Internet. Unfortunately, GNAA skipped the “good” part.