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

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?
12%
4%
10%
4%
22%
4%
44%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

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

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Head of IT

Bede’s is looking for a dynamic, driven and able Head...

Web Developer - C#, ASP.NET, SQL, Javascript

Web Developer - C#, ASP.NET, SQL, Javascript S...

Do you want to IT Contract or Have You Recently Arrived in the UK?

BITE Consulting could be the answer for you!! The...

Junior / Mid Level Apple Mac Engineer for Help Desk role

We are looking for a Junior to mid weight Help Desk engineer...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.