April 24, 2014

Cyber-Attacks: Hackers compromise 250000 Twitter accounts

By Mirwais Adeel - Sat Feb 02 2013, 10:56 pm

Twitter says hackers compromise 250000 user accountsA quarter of a million Twitter users may have had their passwords and email addresses stolen by hackers, the social networking site has warned.

The company said a blog post by Bob Lord on Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.

In the Arab World, many users have taken to Twitter to complain that their accounts were among those affected by the hacking.

“We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later,” wrote Lord. “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.”

But security experts warned that the hackers had possession of a potentially valuable cache of information, as many people’s Twitter passwords are identical to those they use for other purposes, including banking.

In the meantime one expert said that the Twitter hack probably happened after an employee’s home or work computer was compromised through vulnerabilities in Java, a commonly used computing language whose weaknesses have been well publicised.

Twitter reset the pilfered passwords and has said all affected users would receive an e-mail notifying them that they need to create a new password.

The online attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into the computer systems of US media and technology companies, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both American newspapers reported this week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.

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