Twitter Advises 330 Million Users To Change Password After Internal Glitch

Arturo Kim
May 6, 2018

TechRepublic sister site ZDNet said that Twitter didn't indicate how many passwords were stored in plain text, but that the number may have been "substantial", and that the log existed for several months. The company announced on Thursday it discovered a bug that saved user passwords unprotected on an internal log. The post adds, "Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you consider changing your password on all services where you've used this password".

Login to Twitter and go into the Password settings screen. It is unknown how many users were affected by this issue as Twitter never reported it.

Twitter said it stores passwords in its system but it masks them by replacing the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. Hashing of passwords is a common industry practice.

Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that he believes "it's important for us to be open about this internal defect".

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Both companies insist that there has been no data breach, or any indication that passwords were accessed by employees, other users, or the public. Twitter claims once they discovered the "error", they removed all passwords and are "implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again".

It's time to update your Twitter and GitHub passwords. You can also get there by going to Settings and Privacy - Change Password on Twitter's website, or Settings and Privacy - Account - Change Password on the mobile app.

Other than just changing your password, there are a few additional steps that can be taken just to be secure. Password managers are applications that can generate long, unique passwords for every service you use, and remember them all so you don't have to. This is not a security breach, but users are advised to create a new password as a precautionary measure.

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