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February 04, 2013

Hackers Gain Access to 250,000 Twitter Accounts

By Carlos Olivera, TMCnet Content Producer

While most Americans were busy running around making the necessary preparations for their Super Bowl parties late last week, hackers were busy at work stealing personal information from thousands of Twitter (News - Alert) users.

"We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later," said Bob Lord, Twitter information security director.

All in all, Twitter reported that around 250,000 of its users were affected by this latest scam. It doesn’t appear as if the hackers were able to make away with any sensitive information, but according to Twitter, they were able to access usernames, e-mail addresses, sessions tokens and encrypted/salted versions of the passwords. 

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

Twitter has since come out and said that it has already reset the passwords for the users that were affected and would notify them sometime soon.

Twitter is not the first major social media platform to be affected by hackers. Just last month, there was a potential new Skype (News - Alert) texting scam going around. According to a report from Virginia, scammers were sending text messages to random phone numbers asking them to add them as a contact on Skype, in hopes of stealing personal information.

”As a general word of caution, it's never advisable to respond to a text message from an unknown number. Skype also urges its users not to accept a contact request from someone they don't know. We have investigated and blocked the Skype user name involved in this scam," a Skype spokesperson said in an e-mail to TMC (News - Alert). “As far as we know, it’s actually not very widespread.”

Although Twitter was able to spot the hack and put an end to it very quickly, it just goes to show you how cautious we need to be with our personal information when using the Internet or social media sites.

Edited by Ashley Caputo
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