After a week of high-profile hacks against giant US companies such as the New York Times Co. and News Corp (home to newspaper the Wall Street Journal), comes another attack. It was revealed that micro-blogging website, Twitter, has fallen victim to hackers. Tens of thousands of Twitter users, including the BBC’s technology correspondent, have had their accounts compromised.
Staff of Twitter said that they shut down one attack moments after it was detected but the hackers still managed to steal 250,000 users’ login names, e-mail addresses, and encrypted passwords. Following which, Twitter reset the compromised passwords and sent e-mail informing affected users.
It is believed that the attack was neither the work of amateurs not an isolated incident as the hackers were extremely sophisticated. However, the company didn’t reveal any information or knowledge about the identity or motivation of these hackers. Meanwhile, Bob Lord (Twitter’s director of security) suggested that users adopted better “security hygiene”:
We encourage all users to take this opportunity to ensure that they are following good password hygiene, on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet. 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.
He has also suggested that Twitter users disable Java plug-ins inside their web browsers since the software is known to be particularly vulnerable to hacks.