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Hackers Targeted Twitter User Data

Published: February 4, 2013 | 8:22 am
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February 1, 2013
Twitter Inc. on Friday said it had detected “sophisticated” unauthorized attempts to access information from the short-messaging service used by more than 200 million people.

In a blog post, the San Francisco company said it identified this week computerized attacks that may have accessed limited information such as Twitter user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords for 250,000 Twitter users. As a precaution, the company said it reset passwords for the 250,000 potentially affected Twitter accounts.

Twitter said it would send affected users an email with a notification to create a new password.

“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident,” Twitter said in its blog post. “The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.”

On occasion, Twitter has disclosed “denial-of-service” attacks, where computer users funnel traffic to websites to cause them to crash.

Twitter in its early days also suffered a few high-profile account breaches, including an incident that resulted in fake Twitter messages being blasted out from Barack Obama’s Twitter account. As a result of that incident and others, Twitter in 2010 settled with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations the service had insufficient protections for user account information.

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