Hackers said to be affiliated with the “hacktivist” group Anonymous claimed this week to have accessed and published the details of 55,000 Twitter accounts.
Twitter admitted that its servers had been subject to attack but said on Tuesday that the figure of 55,000 was overstated. Twitter said that 20,000 of the accounts were duplicates and that many of the usernames and passwords published don’t match up.
With thousands of accounts still potentially at risk, Twitter is sending password resets to users who may have been affected. In an online help page, Twitter advised that any user who has concerns may wish to change their password.
The incident raises important questions about internet security, including the kinds of information that are shared on social media and how much security users should expect to be provided by those who operate social media.
While at present social media is not the medium through which most official correspondence is conducted, including confirmations of purchase, ticketing details and banking advice, it is feasible that social media may be used for such correspondence in future. Mashable reported last month that email is still the most popular mode of internet communication, but that social media usage is rapidly catching up around the world and could overtake it in coming years.
If you are concerned your account may have been compromised Twitter offers advice here.