Twitter passwords exposed via bug

Nichole VegaMay 06, 2018

Twitter says the problem has been fixed, but still urges users to update their passwords.

Twitter did not say how many passwords were affected but it is understood the number was "substantial" and that they were exposed for "several months".

So, what promoted Twitter to make this recommendation?

"Twitter should have mandated two-factor authentication by now, but it's still optional", said Avetisov. This function "replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter's system". There are more than 300 million users on the platform which needs to take immediate action on altering password for their account protection.

"It will be interesting to see users reaction to this", he continued. The passwords in this instance, however, were never obfuscated through the hashing process.

The announcement comes on the heels of a major privacy scandal at Facebook, in which the company said a third party had accessed the personal data of up to 87m users - many of them without their knowledge. Because of this, Twitter is recommending users change their passwords for any of these apps as well. It's not even the lazy way to code a password handler. This is in stark contrast to an incident in 2009, during which some 33 high-profile accounts were infiltrated and used to send malicious tweets.

Independent security expert Graham Cluley said: "It's quite encouraging that Twitter both found the problem internally, and informed its users quickly and transparently". Apparently, despite holding an executive level position at Twitter, Agrawal has never visited the site himself, as he seemed to think that would go over well. The company explained that the internal log on which passwords were stored was contained within their systems and no passwords had been compromised.

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