Twitter Hacker Attack: 250K Accounts Accessed

Dennis Faas's picture

Hackers have reportedly breached Twitter security defenses. According to the social networking site, it's possible that up to a quarter of a million accounts were affected by the attack.

Twitter director of information security, Bob Lord, announced on Friday afternoon that the site had been under attack throughout the day.

An investigation by Twitter's security team discovered that the attackers had in fact bypassed site security and had gained access to a large amount of user data. That user data reportedly contained user names, email addresses, and encrypted passwords.

Passwords Reset, Emails Sent to Victims

An estimated 250,000 accounts were affected by the security breach. "As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts," Lord noted. (Source:

This means that, if you're asked to reset your password in an email or the next time you log in to Twitter, your account may have been one of the 250,000 accessed by hackers.

Regardless, security experts are insisting that all Twitter users immediately change their passwords -- even if they're not asked to do so by Twitter's security team.

Those same experts have also noted that the stolen passwords may not be safe, even though Twitter says they were encrypted.

Security insiders warn that if a password is short (less than ten characters) its encryption can be easily cracked using various hacking tools.

That's why Twitter and security experts are both recommending that all users employ a ten-plus character password that includes letters, numbers, and even symbols.

Attack Launched by 'Sophisticated' Hackers

As for the nature of the attack, Bob Lord believes it was the work of advanced hackers.

"This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident," Lord noted. "The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked." (Source:

Twitter says it has sent emails to those users who may have been affected by the hack. Security experts insist that it's better to simply visit the site and advise against clicking on links in emails in any situation.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)