According to CNN on Feb. 1, that popular 140-character social media site Twitter is the latest victim of hacking. Twitter claims that approximately 240,000 user accounts were potentially compromised with attackers gaining access to user names, email addresses and maybe more.
The hacking was first detected a few days ago. Twitter investigated and found a larger breach.
"This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later," said Bob Lord, Twitter's director of information security, in a post. "However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information."
"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."
Hacking seems to be catching on in popularity. The Twitter incident follows hacking attacks at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Both of those attacks were suspected of originating in China. Bloomberg News was also targeted, but said that no computers were compromised.
Any Twitter user possibly affected has been reset. If you were one of the hacked accounts, you will receive an email with instructions how to reset your password. You will not be able to log in with your existing password.
No reasons or method were given for the hacking, but “Java vulnerability” was mentioned. The Division of Homeland Security recently warned computer users about Java and suggested they disable the software unless “it is absolutely necessary.”
It never hurts to change your password from time to time. Twitter recommends that you use a strong password that mixes numbers, symbols, upper and lowercase letters and that you do not use the same password for multiple accounts. They also recommend disabling Java.