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02nd Feb 2013

Forget Innocent Frape Attacks – Twitter Announces That Hackers Have Stolen 250,000 Passwords

Everyone with an account is at risk

Remembering complicated passwords is a pain and most of us probably think we’re safe if we use a couple of numbers at the end of a word but Twitter bosses are warning that your account probably isn’t as protected as you think.

Over a quarter of a million Twitter users have had their passwords and email addresses stolen by hackers, the organisation has revealed.

The security breach, which concerns its 200 million active users, is one of the biggest ever to affect the social networking site and company bosses say that they have warned all those who had their passwords stolen to reset them to prevent any further risk.

But, security experts have warned that the hackers in possession of the passwords have a potentially invaluable amount of information at their fingertips, as many people use the same passwords for online banking and other personal information.

Your Twitter account could be at risk

The Telegraph is reporting that Bob Lord, Twitter’s director of security, said: “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.”

Twitter said in its blog that the 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,” the company said.

“For that reason we felt that it was important to publicise this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the internet safer for all users.”