The MySpace puppies hack that wasn’t

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Early on Friday, visitors of the MySpace website were presented with a curious message that left many users believing that the service had been hacked.

MySpace message

We messed up our code so bad that even puppies and kittens may be in danger. Please turn back

* Have your pet spayed or neutered.

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

When you visit a website as famous as MySpace, and see a message like that, your first thought in a climate of website defacement and Anonymous-style hacks might be that this is just the latest .com to fall victim to an attack.

Rumours spread quickly around the Twittersphere and in early media reports that MySpace had been hacked after an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account referred to the hack (albeit without claiming responsibility).

MySpace hacked tweets

However, as The Next Web pointed out, this is a standard error message that MySpace has been using for at least two years.

So, the moral of the story may well be to that if you run a website you may very well want to have a cute error message for when things go wrong, but do try to make it look like it comes from you – rather than the result of a malicious hack.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.