- Social media start up Buffer experienced a brand's worst nightmare Saturday—a serious hack.
- The hackers were able to gain access to the accounts of over a million users, posting spammy weight loss messages to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ on their behalf.
- The team at Buffer was quick to respond by shutting down the service and communicating publicly on Twitter to explain the situation. The team also sent out emails to users explaining the situation and what they were doing to handle it.
@StephenMeansMe Uh-oh, that's not good at all! Investigating, sit tight for me. -Carolyn— Buffer (@buffer) October 26, 2013
Hi all. So sorry, it looks like we've been compromised. Temporarily pausing all posts as we investigate. We'll update ASAP.— Buffer (@buffer) October 26, 2013
No brand is ever really prepared for a crisis like this hack, but Buffer responded in the best way it could. The startup had staff on the problem quickly, even though it was a Saturday, and they made concentrated efforts to communicate transparently to users through both social media and email. The next step will be to reassure users they have tightened security.