All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


#Twitterhack: Social network reveals 250,000 users compromised

02 Feb 2013
New Twitter logo

Twitter has become the latest hacking victim, with the micro-blogging service revealing late on Friday that hackers had gained access to sensitive user data for around a quarter of a million of its users.

“This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorised access attempts to Twitter user data,” explained Bob Lord, director of Information Security at Twitter.

“Our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users."

Twitter has reset the passwords for anyone whose account was compromised, and has been sending out emails notifying these users that they will need to change their passwords to access their accounts.

Lord used the situation to remind users of the need for good security practice in general.

“Make sure you use a strong password – at least 10 (but more is better) characters and a mixture of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols – that you are not using for any other accounts or sites,” he suggested.

“Using the same password for multiple online accounts significantly increases your odds of being compromised.”

He also encouraged users to disable Java on their browsers, though whether this was the cause of the breach is unclear. Lord noted that both Apple and Mozilla have turned off Java by default in their browsers.

Lord added that the attack was carried out by an “extremely sophisticated” hacker or hackers, and implied that it was part of the same team who has recently attacked large US media outlets.

The New York Times on Wednesday revealed it had been under attack from Chinese hackers, while on Thursday the Wall Street Journal said its systems had also been breached by Chinese hackers, allegedly to monitor coverage.

One point to note is that Twitter started its ‘Keeping our users secure’ post with an overview of other recent high-profile attacks, rather than delving straight into the details of the attack on its own systems, as if to downplay the breach on its systems.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Madeline Bennett
About

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

More on Social Networking
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?
20%
14%
4%
20%
30%
12%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 home screen

Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5

We break down the strengths and weaknesses of the two Android heavyweights

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv33

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery

rdc2

iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Network Engineer - Urgent

Network Engineer - Southend on Sea / Basildon / South...

Web Developer PHP / MySQL/ HTML5 / CSS3 / JavaScript / jQuery

Web Developer - PHP / MySQL / HTML / CSS / JavaScript...

User Interface Developer - HTML- Fantastic award winning company

Job Title;- User Interface Developer - HTML- Fantastic...

Embedded C Developer - Bracknell

Job Title;- Embedded C Developer - Bracknell Description...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.