That LiveJournal thing.

Denise has a pretty good write-up of the LiveJournal password breach over at Dreamwidth.


We’ve seen several contradictory claims about when the file was allegedly gathered from LiveJournal: one claim for June/July of 2014, and one claim for sometime in 2017. From what we’ve learned from our users who we’ve spoken to about their accounts, we believe the 2014 claim is more likely to be accurate and that the person(s) who obtained the data in 2014 didn’t use it for several years, but we can’t say for certain. Because of that uncertainty, it’s best if you treat any password you’ve ever used on LiveJournal in the past as compromised, since we can’t tell for certain when the alleged breach happened.

(It’s worth noting Firefox, for example, leans towards the 2017 date. Regardless, assume compromise.)

Also, LiveJournal’s official response—specifically the claim the data are “falsified”—is… interesting. More specifically specifically, what they seem to be claiming is that someone has taken account details from other breaches and attributed them to LiveJournal. Given that I know I, personally, use a LiveJournal-specific email address and I still got a breach noticed from Have I Been Pwned? this is, to put it bluntly, full of shit.

Anyway, tl;dr:

  • change your password at LiveJournal and any other place you may have used the same password
  • don’t reuse passwords
  • activate multifactor where possible, particularly high-value accounts like email addresses and anything financial1
  • use a password manager.2
  1. Also, preference hard tokens over soft tokens/apps over SMS codes.
  2. I use 1Password, which is nice but kinda expensive; LastPass and KeePass are more affordable options.
2020-05-28T10:09:03+10:0028th May, 2020|Tags: , |

The teen girls of the late 90s/early 00s.

Jesus everything about this article is massive nostalgia for me, from FernGully (my journal had a picture of Batty on the front I proudly told everyone I “didn’t trace”) to the lines about “prefacing our subdomains with forward slashes”.

This is the era that I came of Internet Age in. I signed up for LiveJournal in 19991 at the urging of a friend, who found out about it when one of the Cool Kid bloggers we followed linked to hers. My very first post was about not having to attend the school athletics carnival in exchange for vacuuming the house. IIRC, in my post I confessed to not, in fact, having vacuumed the house.

I was always a bit more part of the homebrew scene than the LJ crowd–my blog ran on code I wrote myself until I finally migrated it in circa 2006–but I always had a crossposter, and the one thing I loved on LJ more than anything else was its friends locking ability.2 Yeah, it was a massive drama magnet–people would “leak” flocked posts to wank comms all the time–but it also allowed for a level of intimate self-expression that its modern replacements, the WordPresses and the Twitters and the Tumblrs of the world, don’t.

In some respects, I think LiveJournal, by virtue of being the first social media service, was also the last social media service that was, in its original form, designed for users and not advertisers. Facebook, which had similar by kids-for-kids origins, is the only other major existing service that preserves things like post locking… and its “locking” functionality gets more and more vestigial as the company itself gets more monetized. (If there wasn’t huge pushback from users, I suspect it would be gone altogether.) Every other service is either all-or-nothing.

A lot of things killed (English-language) LiveJournal, but slow uptake on technology, especially as it relates to rich media content and mobile support, was, I think, the main one. Which is a shame. Because there was a trade-off.

Basically, what I’m saying is I think Dreamwidth needs to run a Kickstarter to raise funds to revamp the platform with Tumblr-like features. Best of both worlds? I think so!

  1. Yes, really. Yes, I still have it.
  2. I loved this so much, in fact, that I wrote it into my own blog script and then, later, into a WordPress plugin.
2019-12-18T09:49:55+11:0017th May, 2015|Tags: , , , |

How one white guy became the head of a blog started by and for teenage Black girls.

Also known as “the strange, sad, and rage-worthy tale of Oh No They Didn’t“.

2020-10-21T09:40:57+11:005th December, 2014|Tags: , , |
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