Nick's Blog

Personal opinions. Aggressively stated.

Pay attention: this is how you behave when you’ve been hacked

The social media management and sharing site Buffer was hacked today. This is a quick note to say how wonderful it is to see a company get out in front of a hack, work the problem and update its customers and users. I am not currently a Buffer user. I may well be in the near future.

Soon after they knew they were hacked, they took to Twitter and Facebook announcing the problem. Then they put up a blog post entitled, “Buffer has been hacked – here is what’s going on“.

I wanted to post a quick update and apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend. Buffer was hacked around 2 hours ago, and many of you may have experienced spam posts sent from you via Buffer. I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now.

Not everyone who has signed up for Buffer has been affected, but you may want to check on your accounts. We’re working hard to fix this problem right now and we’re expecting to have everything back to normal shortly.

The post, by , promised to update users on Facebook and Twitter. Updates were then made at 1, 3 and 5:30 PT.

How nice it is to see people taking responsibility, working the problem and getting things back to normal.

I am incredibly sorry this has happened and affected you and your company. We’re working around the clock right now to get this resolved and we’ll continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, Joel!

PS: David Berlind has an excellent post about the ramifications of this kind of attack on those who develop to Twitter’s and Facebook’s APIs; it is worth a read. I’m not sure I agree, though, that the hack is a black eye in the end. In fact, Gascoigne’s response and the work done by the Buffer team may well end up showing how the company handles itself when the the defecation hits the ventilation. As one comment on Gascoigne’s blog sums it up:

You folks are awesome in every way, including when the chips are down. Remain Calm & Buffer On.

And if, like me, you think that is great, get a load of this post, in which they are open about their revenues, run rate, users and performance over time. Holy moly I love these guys.

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