Uh oh, Twitter’s been hacked

Twitter announced in an ironically titled post ‘Keeping users secure’ that they believed that 250,000 accounts may have been compromised in this latest hacking scandal where the sophisticated thieves may have gotten hold of user details like email addresses and passwords.

Twitter seem to be the latest company who have fallen victim to a string of attacks on media companies, others being U.S. based giants like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and Twiter have stated that they “detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data” this week.  The company claim to have quashed the problem moments after realising they had been attacked and have taken measures to reset passwords and sending affected users emails asking them to create new ones.

In a bid to empower their users, they recommend a password that is at least 10 characters in length and to vary passwords for different accounts.

I do find it slightly worrying that such large companies are so susceptible to such attacks.  Having worked in the IT sector for a few years I know that budget’s can be tight but I also know that systems security is paramount so how is it that this is happening?  It’s true that hackers are clearly becoming more sophisticated and I presume that often their agenda is more related to proving their abilities and getting the associated kudos but still…

What does it mean for us?  If they can hack into such systems, does that mean that our banking systems are just as vulnerable?  In this war of us vs. them, as our hackers are being more sophisticated perhaps we need to play that game too.  For now, having different passwords for different online accounts is good advice, but can we do anything else?


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