[Update] Internet trolls target Tumblr; viral post infects 6,000 blogs and counting

tumblr blocked

UPDATE: Tumblr notified us that the worm has been removed: “Tumblr engineers have resolved the issue of the viral post attack that affected a few thousand Tumblr blogs earlier today. Thank you for your patience.”

UPDATE 2: Tumblr has followed up with a terse blog post saying that all posts related to the attack has been removed: “No accounts have been compromised, and you don’t need to take any further action.” It’s now back to business as usual at Tumblr HQ.

Thanks to the work of an anti-blogging hacker group, Tumblr has been hacked and a surprising amount of popular domains have been exploited. 

The worm itself isn’t damaging to your blog, so there’s not much to worry about in terms of losing your information or having your blog wiped clean. The worm is similar to the clickbait posts that you’ve seen on Facebook, which once you click on the post gets republished to your wall (in this case, to your Tumblr blog). The viral post was planted this morning on Tumblr and spread to 6,000 unique visitors so far in just a matter of a few hours. With 80 million blogs that exist on Tumblr, this is just a fraction of blogs that were affected, however many popular sites were hit (including USA Today’s and The Verge’s Tumblrs) and the bug has the potential to infiltrate the platform much further. 

If you see the hate-filled message like the one in the screen shot below, do not click on it.

gnaa hate post

If you’re signed into your Tumblr dashboard and click on the post, it will infect your blog and republish the message as a blog post. You won’t have to worry about the “P.S.” part of the message since it’s just an empty threat. Because it publishes just one blog post at a time, to remove it you can simply delete the single post without it affecting your blog as a whole, but before you jump ahead of yourself it’s not that that straight forward. Unfortunately it appears that infected Tumblr accounts can’t delete the post through Tumblr’s dashboard without spawning more posts, so the Daily Dot is recommending that using the Missing-E browser plugin will get rid of the posts for good without any recourse.

We reached out to Tumblr and their spokesperson responded to the incident with the following statement, indicating that Tumblr is aware of the situation and actively working on combating the problem.

“There is a viral post circulating on Tumblr which begins “Dearest ‘Tumblr’ users”. 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.”

A “hackavist” collective by the name of The Gay Ni**er Association of America (GNAA) has stepped up to claim responsibility for the exploit. GNAA’s spokesperson tells the Daily Dot, “The guy who found the bug messaged me about six hours ago, and we went live just under three hours ago. We started with one post on a brand new Tumblr blog, I sent the link to a few people, and it went from there. Well, it looks like we’ve reached nearly 6,000 unique users affected … Never expected it to get this big.”

According to NewMediaRockstars, the GNAA also plans to take on WordPress and Disqus.

Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Gaming

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.