Hack forces Twitter to reset 250,000 user passwords

Twitter sending out password reset notices as it becomes the latest victim of hackers

2 Feb 2013

Hackers may have gained access to passwords and other information for as many as 250,000 Twitter accounts, the company has revealed.

Twitter said in a blog post that the passwords were encrypted and that it had already reset them as a "precautionary measure," and that it was in the process of notifying affected users.

"There is no evidence right now that would indicate that passwords were compromised," said spokesman Jim Prosser.

The blog post noted recent revelations of large-scale cyber attacks against the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but unlike the two news organisations, Twitter did not provide any detail on the origin or methodology of the attacks. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both said the hackers originated in China.

"This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident," Twitter said. "The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organisations have also been recently similarly attacked."

Twitter, which has 200 million active monthly users, said it was working with government and federal law enforcement officials to track down the attackers.

The attack is not the first time that hackers have breached Twitter's systems and gained access to user information. Twitter signed a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010, subjecting the company to 10 years of independent privacy reviews, for failing to safeguard users' personal information.

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