If you're a Twitter user, you'll want to strongly consider changing your password. As posted on the Twitter blog, the company has now revealed an internal bug caused passwords to be stored unencrypted. After an investigation, Twitter found 'no indication of breach or misuse by anyone' but suggests you still change the password on Twitter and anywhere else you may have used it.
We mask passwords through a process called hashing using a function known as bcrypt, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter's system. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard.
Due to a bug, passwords were written to an internal log before completing the hashing process. We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again.
Aside from the notice given to users, Twitter also highlighted some best practices for keeping your account safe:
Again, although we have no reason to believe password information ever left Twitter's systems or was misused by anyone, there are a few steps you can take to help us keep your account safe:
- Change your password on Twitter and on any other service where you may have used the same password.
- Use a strong password that you don't reuse on other websites.
- Enable login verification, also known as two factor authentication. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.
- Use a password manager to make sure you're using strong, unique passwords everywhere.
We are very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day.