nick denton 300x225 Has Anonymous Hacked Gawker Media?UPDATE: A significant update to this story can be found here.

Looking at some of the tweets posted to the Gizmodo Twitter account, it looks as if Gawker Media’s portfolio of web properties may have been hacked, the messages suggesting 1.5 million usernames and passwords have been compromised as a result.

The first tweet announced “SUPPORT WIKILEAKS”, before a more worrying message emerged reading “Gawker.com Gizmodo.com Lifehacker.com hacked, 1.5 million usernames/emails/passwords taken”.

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Visiting the websites in question, Gizmodo, Gawker and Lifehacker all appear to be functional and do not look to have been defaced. As we write, the tweets have been deleted.

We managed to grab a screenshot before they disappeared:

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Evidence suggests that the Twitter account password was compromised and used to spread false information, one tweet mentions the ongoing feud between Anonymous (famous for the Wikileaks revenge attacks on Mastercard, Visa and Paypal) and writers of the Gawker.com website.

If Anonymous is behind the attack, it adds to overwhelming surge of publicity the movement has been getting as of late. Members of Anonymous have already mobilised to down the websites of companies that have publicly withdrawn services utilised by the Wikileaks website.

Update: Christopher Mascari, writer for Gizmodo, has confirmed the websites’ Twitter account was compromised:

Screen shot 2010 12 11 at 21.49.04 Has Anonymous Hacked Gawker Media?