On heels of recent Internet security attacks against Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, micro-blogging giant Twitter says approximately a quarter of a million of its more than 200 million active users may have been compromised in a hacker attack.
Twitter disclosed on Friday evening that “sophisticated” hackers may have accessed the usernames, email addresses and other information contained in the 250,000 users accounts.
However, the popular social media site twitter also report that those accounts which may have been hacked have already had their passwords reset and users informed.
With over 500 million existing accounts and 400 million tweets being sent a day, Twitter is one of the biggest and most active social networks in the world.
How to create a strong password:
1) A strong password should contain numbers, punctuation, and upper- and lower-case letters.
2) Longer is better, for example: a password with 15-character may be 90 times harder to crack than a 14-character password.
3) Create a formula for you own account safety: for instance, you could use the name of your school or college — spelled backwards — followed by your father’s date of birth typed while holding down SHIFT (punctuation) — and ending with the year you were born.
4) Never type a password on a Web site that isn’t secure.
5) Never share a password with anyone that you wouldn’t trust with your credit card.
6) Never email one of your passwords, even to someone you trust
7) If a Web site offers a consider two-factor authentication, such as Gmail’s two-step verification option, use it.
8) Don’t give away your passwords ….. Don’t give away your passwords. …. Don’t give away your passwords …. Don’t give away your passwords
In a blog post Bob Lord, Director of Information Security wrote: “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.”
On Friday, a group of Syrian hackers broke into the Haaretz Group’s email server. According to members of the group, known as the Syrian Electronic Army, they gained access to 80 email accounts and passwords of Haaretz employees, including some belonging to senior editors, journalists and management at the paper.
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 publicized.
Who is behind the hack attack on Twitter?
We don’t know. Bob Lord, the Director of Information Security at Twitter added that both Apple and Mozilla have turned off Java by default in their browsers. How to disable Oracle Corp’s Java software on their computers?
How to choose a strong password – simple tips for better security?