Twitter hit by cyber attack

2013-02-02 10:39
Twitter has been hit by a cyber attack. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Twitter has been hit by a cyber attack. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Francisco - Twitter said it was hammered by a "sophisticated" cyber attack similar to those that recently hit major Western news outlets, and that the passwords of about 250 000 users were stolen.

"This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident," Twitter information security director Bob Lord said in a blog post.

Lord referred to an "uptick in large-scale security attacks aimed at US technology and media companies" as he told of Twitter detecting attempts this week to get unauthorised access to data in the firm's network.

The attack coincided with the revelation of several high-profile security breaches. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal said this week that they had been hacked, and pointed to attackers from China.

Twitter did not confirm the source of the intrusion.

Popular tool

But Lord noted that "the attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organisations have also been recently similarly attacked".

He said that Twitter shut down a live attack as it was in process.

But cyber attackers may have stolen usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords and other data.

As a precaution, Twitter invalidated passwords of accounts at issue and sent people e-mail messages telling them to create new passwords.

Twitter announced in December that the number of active users of the service had topped 200 million, in a sign of soaring growth.

The one-to-many messaging platform is a popular tool used by people around the world to share thoughts, views and news in real time, typically from mobile phones and sometimes in the heart of protests or upheaval.

It was unknown whether the cyber attack on San Francisco-based Twitter was related to high-powered hacker assaults on the Times and the Journal.

The recent series of brazen cyber attacks on America's most high-profile media outlets has revived concerns over Chinese hackers, who analysts say are likely linked to the Beijing government.

The Times and the Journal reported that their computer networks had been compromised, alleging it was an effort by the Chinese government to spy on news media operating in the country.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that there has been an increase in hacking attacks on both state institutions and private companies.

"The breach at Twitter is yet another wake-up call - have we had enough yet?" said Mike Lloyd, chief technology officer at security firm RedSeal Networks.

"Attackers are clearly a step ahead of most defenders - it's a war between corporations and data thieves, and we're losing."

Read more on:    twitter  |  cybercrime  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Camps Bay - 11:47 AM
    Road name: Victoria Road Southbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC between Bakoven and Llandudno
  • Thursday Epping - 11:42 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.