Twitter today revealed there was a bug that caused the service to store user passwords in unmasked form. Typically, sensitive data, like your password, is stored on the in a hashed and encrypted form. However, it appears that in this instance, text passwords were stored as open text without any hashing. The Company does note that it has no reason to believe the password Info ever left their systems, but the company is urging caution and advising everyone change their passwords asap.
Here is a look at the message Twitter Support team sent out:
We recently found a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone. As a precaution, consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password. https://t.co/RyEDvQOTaZ
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 3, 2018
Here is what the company wrote on its blog today about the bug:
“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.”
Change Your Twitter Password
While there may not have been any data stolen, the company is urging everyone to change their password as well as use the following steps to double-check their Twitter account security:
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.
You should also enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your Twitter Account. And, while you’re there, make sure to review all the apps and services that you’ve linked to your Twitter account. Revoke access to the old ones you never use or think need access to your Twitter.
This is just another opportunity to remind every one of the importance of using Strong Passwords and incorporating a trusted and secure password manager such as LastPass or 1Password so you aren’t reusing passwords for multiple sites. Also, enable Two-Factor Authentication on every single site and service that supports it.