The Dark Web, according to LeakedSource, got ahold of 33 million Twitter account details and put them up for sale. Twitter thus locked the accounts for millions of users.

5DTwitter, however, doesn’t believe its servers were directly attacked. So what happened? The bad guys may have created a composite of data from other breached sources. Or, they could have used malware to steal passwords off of devices.

Nevertheless, the end result meant that for many Twitter accounts, there was password exposure—leading to the lockdown of these accounts. The owners of these accounts had to reset their password after being notified of this by e-mail.

Some users who did not receive this e-mail notification will find that their accounts are locked.

An Ounce of Prevention

  • Go through the passwords of all of your vital accounts, and see which ones are unique, long and strong. You’ll likely need to change many passwords, as most people use simple to remember passwords that often contain keyboard sequences and/or words/names that can be found in a dictionary, such as 890Paul. These are easily cracked with a hacker’s software.
  • Who’d ever think that Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter account could be hacked? It was, indeed, and it’s believed this was possible due to him reusing the username of his LinkedIn account several years ago.
  • So it’s not just passwords that are the problem; it’s usernames. Not only should these be unique, but every single account should have a different username and password. However if a username is an email address, you can’t do much here.
  • Passwords and usernames should be at least eight characters long.
  • Use more than just letters and numbers-use characters if accepted (e.g., #, $, &).
  • So Paul’s new and better password might be: Luap1988($#.
  • Sign up with the account’s two-factor authentication. Not all accounts have this, but Twitter sure does. It makes it impossible for a crook to sign into your account unless he has your cell phone to receive the unique verification code that’s triggered with every login attempt.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

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