Reddit hacked – Sub-Reddits defaced

[German]Hackers have succeeded in hacking the platform in a coordinated action. After that, slogans for a re-election of Trumps were displayed in the Sub-Reddits.


I had already seen it on Twitter that night. Catalin Cimpanu did an article about it on ZDNet – but I had read this Bleeping Computer post to find out more.

During the last 24 hours several Reddit subreddits (NFL, The Pirate Bay, 49ers, Black Mirror, GoT fans, etc.) have been defaced,. The attackers behind this incident have posted pro-trump messages and changed the community’s themes to reflect this. In general, the goal was to support the Trumps 2020 campaign – which is somehow rarely stupid.

It seems that moderator accounts were taken over by sub-reeddits – some users were kicked off the moderator lists. Here is another article about this. Reddit recommends to wait – you want to restore this. Otherwise a two-factor authentication should be set up for access. A moderator on Reddit wrote about this:

Ongoing incident with compromised mod accounts

There is an ongoing incident with moderator accounts being compromised and used to vandalize subreddits. We’re working on locking down the bad actors and reverting the changes.

If your subreddit has been affected:

  • Please note the subreddit in the sticky comment below.

  • To make it easy for us to pull and parse the list, please just write the subreddit name (“r/name”) without any commentary.

  • If you were removed as a mod, please sit tight: We will be adding mods back, but it’s not our first priority.

If your account was compromised and locked down:

  • Restoring access to accounts will be a later stage of this process. We will help you restore it later in the process.

If you’re worried about your account:

  • Look for signs of a compromise:

    • You received email notification that the password and/or email address on your account changed but you didn’t request changes

    • You notice authorized apps on your profile that you don’t recognize

    • You notice unusual IP history on your account activity page

    • You see votes, posts, comments, or moderation actions that you don’t remember making, or private messages that you don’t remember sending

  • For the love of Snoo, make sure you have two-factor authentication enabled. Encourage the rest of your mod team to do the same.

  • Change your password.

Thanks for your patience as we work through this. We’ll keep you updated here.

Edit 1: To be clear, we have a number of methods of detecting compromised accounts, not just your reports here.

Edit 2: Because of the way we’re actioning these accounts, you may not be able to tell that they’re actioned by visiting their profile. (Annoying, right?) The best way to tell if we’re already working on your subreddit is to look for admin actions in your modlog.

Edit 3a: We have officially confirmed that none of the accounts that were compromised had 2fa enabled at the time of the compromise. 2fa is not a guarantee of account safety in general, but it’s still an important step to take to keep your account more secure.

Edit 4: Once we’ve cleared everything up, we’ll be messaging all affected subreddits letting them know they were affected but the situation is now resolved. To be clear, many mods will get access back to their account BEFORE we send this message, but we’ll make sure to close the loop with the message on the other side of this. And yes, we’ll be doing a post-mortem of some sort in r/redditsecurity, though that will be a bit further out.

Edit 5: We’ve sent out messaging to affected communities and started letting account owners back into their accounts.


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