Tumblr Hack Illustrates Need for Content Marketers to be Security-Aware


Trolls defaced thousands of blogs on the ultra-popular blogging platform Tumblr. The incident, while more embarrassing than truly damaging, nonetheless shows how brands might be vulnerable when using popular blogging and social media platforms.

Trolls on Tumblr

As explained by security vendor Sophos, the Tumblr hack utilized a worm, a standalone malware program that does not need to modify an existing program like a virus does to spread from blog to blog. Its spread was aided by the reblogging feature of Tumblr, which made users automatically share the malicious code to their followers if they inadvertently visited an infected page. As the worm spread, page content on several thousand blogs were replaced with an insulting, profanity-laced tirade from hacking/troll group GNAA attacking what they deemed “self-congratulating” content posted by Tumblr users.

The situation was brought under control within several hours, and according to a blog post by the company, “no accounts have been compromised.” In effect, it was more of a childish prank than a serious attack, but it still proved disruptive to many blogs that chose the platform over other options, like WordPress.

Content Marketers Must Remain Security Aware.

For content marketers, the Tumblr hack highlights the need to remain security conscious. Although there is little that a brand on Tumblr could have done to prevent this attack, it does bring some questions to light: Which platforms should marketers use to build their content, and do they have a plan to communicate with their audience should something go wrong? One thing is certain, as hackers increase in sophistication in the future, content marketers will be forced to wear the security hat more and more.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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