Data Security

Twitter Password Reset Prompt Was Excess of Caution

Twitter Password Reset Prompt Was Excess of Caution
November 10, 2012 3:58PM

Bookmark and Share
In Twitter's statement regarding the password breach, no explanation was given for the initial concern about the passwords or how many people were actually affected. A Twitter spokesman did not respond to our request for information in time for publication.

APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.

It's hard to imagine something worse than a nefarious hacker taking hold of your Twitter account, potentially sending out dozens of embarrassing or harmful Tweets in your name.

So when millions of Twitter users got emails this week warning them to change their passwords to keep their accounts from being compromised, most probably did so faster than you can say hashtag or microblog.

But it turns out that in most cases the warning was unnecessary.

'Our Bad'

Twitter on Thursday fessed up to a case of password overkill, announcing on its Status page that not as many accounts as they first assumed were suspected to be compromised.

"We're committed to keeping Twitter a safe and open community," Twitter said. "As part of that commitment, in instances when we believe an account may have been compromised, we reset the password and send an email letting the account owner know this has happened along with information about creating a new password. This is a routine part of our processes to protect our users.

"In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused."

No explanation was given for the initial concern about the passwords or how many people were actually affected. A Twitter spokesman did not respond to our request for information in time for publication.

Security experts recommend changing passwords routinely, even when not prompted, to avoid having accounts hacked.

And users of any popular email or social media service should always double check whether "change your password" or "verify your account" prompts are legit.

Hover First

One common example of phishing -- the term that describes hackers' attempts to trick you into revealing passwords and other data -- is a fake email from PayPal threatening to limit the recipient's account privileges unless he or she clicks on a link in the message.

"You don't tell where a Web site goes by clicking on it," warns cyber security expert Graham Cluley of Sophos. "After all, you could be taken to a Web site that hosts malware or an exploit, which could -- afterwards -- take you to the real site."

Cluly suggests users hover their mouse cursor over the link to see where the pop-up tells you the destination will be.

"Even then, hackers could compromise a vulnerable Web site so that clicking on a link to a legit Web site ends up taking you to a dangerous page," he adds.

Cluley suggests a bit of homework before you respond to an "out-of-the-blue" reset-password email when there was no prior sign of trouble, such as unauthorized use.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Data Security
1. Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
2. Google Hacker Team to Hunt Bugs
3. Cloud Firms Offer Azure Starter Kit
4. FBI Cyber-Expert's Humble Start
5. Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Officials




 Most Popular Articles
1. Experts Say Four Threats Put Internet Freedom at Risk
2. Gartner Rates Security Solutions in Annual Magic Quadrant Report
3. Google I/O Conference Brings a Lot for Businesses
4. IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Cloud Computing Chips
5. Focus on Security in New Dell Products, Upgrades


Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
  Seagate Unveils Networked Drives
  Google Hacker Team to Hunt Bugs
  Cloud Firms Offer Azure Starter Kit
  FBI Cyber-Expert's Humble Start

 Technology Marketplace
Big Data
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
CIO Issues
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Cloud Computing
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Data Storage
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Enterprise Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Enterprise I.T.
Register for an upcoming ISACA® certification exam today
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Enterprise Software
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Small Business
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More