Twitter had a bit of a hacking scare on Tuesday, as about 55,000 usernames and passwords were leaked on a filesharing website. However, the company has denied that they were actually hacked, claiming that the data was actually mostly spam accounts, unlinked usernames and passwords, or duplicates.
As Mashable reports, hackers claiming to be part of hacktivist group Anonymous boasted on Tuesday that they had breached Twitter’s security and stolen the credentials for over 55,000 Twitter accounts.
The passwords and usernames were posted to filesharing website Pastebin by an anonymous user. Early reports suggested that this was part of a massive attack on Twitter, and that the data contained the passwords for some celebrity accounts.
However, Twitter has denied that this attack occurred. Instead, they say that most of the usernames and passwords in the leaked files is either for suspended spam accounts, duplicate information, or that the usernames and passwords are not actually connected to one another.
Apparently there are over 20,000 duplicates in the files, according to an email from Twitter sent to Mashable.
The company did not say whether there were actually any accounts whose information was legitimately stolen and posted in these files. However Twitter did do some password resetting for potentially compromised accounts, which is something they do regularly for accounts hacked by phishing and other scams.
There are some basic things you can do to keep your account safe. First, make sure you’re not using one of these 25 words passwords of 2011 for your Twitter account – otherwise, it won’t take more than a little guesswork for someone to break in. You should also double check which apps you’ve given permission to access your account, and remove unwanted ones from your profile. Lastly, you can check out these five official security tips from Twitter itself.
(Password hacker image via Shutterstock)