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‘Delete-Proof’ Smut Spreads Across Tumblr Thanks To Glitch

Tumblr hasn’t been hacked but a technical problem has caused random posts to appear on users’ blogs

On by Thomas Brewster 0

Tumblr users have complained in their droves today of random, unauthorised posts on their blogs that they can’t delete. The Yahoo-owned company said it was working to fix the problem.

Many suspect the posts, many of which contained pornographic imagery, were the result of a hack affecting numerous users. But Tumblr explained a technical glitch was to blame.

Internet Pornography © jwblinn - FotoliaTumblr technical troubles

“Earlier this morning, an infrastructure failure lasting roughly fifteen minutes led posts created in this window to become corrupt,” a Tumblr spokesperson said, in an email sent to TechWeekEurope.

“No data was lost, but this has been causing inconsistent behavior for these affected blogs. Our engineering team is working quickly to correct the situation.”

Chris Boyd, security researcher for ThreatTrack Security Labs, said this morning a live search on Twitter for “Tumblr hacked” revealed over 800 tweets about it in the last two hours. Some users reported their dashboards were not working too, Boyd reported.

“It’s interesting that a lot of the unauthorised posting revolves around pornography – it isn’t so long ago that the Yahoo acquired site attempted to crackdown on pornography, with somewhat mixed results,” Boyd added in a blog post. “Is this a belated form of protest, or did someone just accidentally trip over the wrong wire at Tumblr HQ?”

There was no protest, this time. Nor was there a security event, unlike last month when Tumblr had to rush out a fix for its iOS app as it wasn’t doing SSL encryption right.

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Thomas Brewster
Author: Thomas Brewster
Security Correspondent, TechWeekEurope
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