Twitter Hacked: About 250,000 User Accounts Possibly Compromised

Seems to be the week for large media attacks. The NY Times and WSJ were hacked earlier this week and Twitter announced earlier today that they had a security breach and the credentials for about 250,000 accounts could have been compromised.

“This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, 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.

As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts. If your account was one of them, you will have recently received (or will shortly) an email from us at the address associated with your Twitter account notifying you that you will need to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to Twitter.”

Apparently the culprit of the breach was, drum roll please, a Java vulnerability. Twitter recommends disabling Java if it is not necessary, use different passwords for each site and if you are using weak passwords to change them now!

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

Apparently Twitter was able to catch the hacker in progress and shut him out. They are working with Law Enforcement agencies to track the attackers and shut them down.

No source has been mentioned as to who the hackers were or where they were from. There was a lot of finger pointing at China earlier this week with the NY Times and WSJ attacks, not sure if I buy into that at this point. China (at least the military backed hackers) is usually more interested in cyber espionage and targets of strategic importance.

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