You may have noticed some of your Facebook Friends, or the people you follow on Twitter, posting things about weight loss recently. Those particular posts and Tweets had a suspicious link attached to them. What happened? Buffer got hacked (and has since fixed the problem).
Buffer is an app that helps users to share things on social media. You can sign in through your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account (or via email). According to the Buffer website: “Buffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day so that your followers and fans see your updates more often.”
Buffer doesn’t have anything to do with weight loss. Even so, somebody hacked Buffer and used it to spam up Facebook and Twitter with links to some type of weight loss thing. I guess the idea of having those tweets shared “at the best possible times throughout the day” was too tempting to resist.
The really interesting thing in this story is how quickly Buffer took action. Joel Gascoigne, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Buffer posted a blog titled: Buffer has been hacked – here is what’s going on. He made it clear that Buffer was aware of the problem and working on it. It clarifies that Buffer passwords were not affected, and that no billing or payment information was affected or exposed.
The team at Buffer spent the day posting continual updates on their Facebook and Twitter page to keep everyone informed. The blog post explained the best steps affected users should take. As things progressed, the blog was updated with more details, including how to login to Buffer again through Twitter and Facebook (after the problem had been corrected).
The post by Joel Gascoigne says that there will be an in-depth post about what the spammers got access to and what Buffer did to fix it. Part of the philosophy at Buffer is to “Default to Transparency”. I do not use Buffer, but am very impressed with how well Buffer kept its users in the know about what was happening. Good job, Buffer!