Story image

Twitter password glitch showcases 'extreme jumpiness' in digital sector

07 May 18

More than 330 million Twitter users are being urged to change their passwords after an internal system glitch caused the passwords to be exposed in a log file.

Twitter is careful to state that there is no evidence the passwords were stolen, left the company’s systems or misused in any way, but issued the warning to change passwords as a precaution.

“When you set a password for your Twitter account, we use technology that masks it so no one at the company can see it. We recently identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log,” an email to users states.

The bug was due to a problem with password hashing. The process wrote passwords to an internal log before they were hashed.

“We mask passwords through a process called hashing using a function known as bcrypt, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter's system. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard,” the company says.

The incident comes as World Password Day was celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of password security.

Commenting on the incident, GlobalData’s service director of Global Telecom Consumer Services, Platforms and Devices, Emma Mohr-McClune, says:

“The episode is symptomatic of the extreme jumpiness in the digital industry sector right now. No one can afford another data breach scandal.  It also points to the need for social media platform leadership to think through their public communications and password change recommendation processes for all vulnerability scenarios.” 

“The fact that it existed at all triggered the kind of mass security warning most digital communications providers would prefer not to have to deliver at all, especially not while the Facebook data privacy scandal is still ongoing,” Mohr-McClune concludes.

Twitter says there are steps users can take to keep their accounts safe.  

1. Change your password on Twitter and on any other service where you may have used the same password.

2. Use a strong password that you don't reuse on other services.

3. Enable login verification, also known as two factor authentication. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.

4. Use a password manager to make sure you're using strong, unique passwords everywhere.

“We are very sorry this happened. We recognise and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day,” Twitter concludes.

Symantec and Fortinet partner for integration
The partnership will deliver essential security controls across endpoint, network, and cloud environments.
Is Supermicro innocent? 3rd party test finds no malicious hardware
One of the larger scandals within IT circles took place this year with Bloomberg firing shots at Supermicro - now Supermicro is firing back.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks extend partnership
Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have extended their partnership to include more security features and customer support for all major public clouds.
Using blockchain to ensure regulatory compliance
“Data privacy regulations such as the GDPR require you to put better safeguards in place to protect customer data, and to prove you’ve done it."
A10 aims to secure Kubernetes container environments
The solution aims to provide teams deploying microservices applications with an automated way to integrate enterprise-grade security with comprehensive application visibility and analytics.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
One Identity a Visionary in Magic Quad for PAM
One Identity was recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management for completeness of vision and ability to execute.