Do you use Twitter? Well, better change your password now. It looks like a software glitch may have left all the passwords of its 330 million users exposed internally within its systems.
The social media site is now advising all of its users to change their passwords to be on the safe side.
Twitter said that it found the glitch on its own and there is no indication of breach or misuse by anyone. In the name of transparency, the company also explained the cause of the glitch to the public.
What was the bug?
In a security blog, Twitter explained that it obscures user passwords via a hashing process called bcrypt. This process replaces the actual password with a random set of characters and allows Twitter’s system to validate a user without revealing the password.
However, due to the glitch, the passwords were written on their internal servers before the hashing process was completed.
Twitter’s security team found the error themselves, removed the exposed passwords and are planning on implementing fixes to prevent this from happening again.
Although Twitter said that it has “no reason to believe that the password information ever left Twitter’s systems or was misused by anyone,” they are still recommending its users to take a few steps to keep their accounts safe.
- You can change your Twitter password by going to Twitter’s password settings page. It is also recommended that you change your password on any service that you may have used the same password. (Using the same password across different services is bad practice, anyway.)
- Always use a strong and unique password.
- Enable two-factor authentication (known as login verification) on your Twitter account. This will provide another layer of protection to your account by requiring your password and a code sent to your phone each time you log in from an unfamiliar device.
- Use a password manager like our sponsor LastPass.
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