Twitter on Thursday announced that it recently suffered a computer glitch that exposed some user passwords in plain text. Now the bug was completely internal, and the company says there is no evidence that it suffered a breach, but it is still recommending that users change their passwords.
From CTO Parag Agrawal:
When you set a password for your Twitter account, we use technology that masks it so no one at the company can see it. We recently identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We have fixed the bug, and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse by anyone.
Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password. You can change your Twitter password anytime by going to the password settings page.
And here’s more 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.
This seems like a good reminder to us all how important online account security is. Your passwords should be complex, with a variation of letters, numbers and special characters, you shouldn’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and you should use two-factor authentication when available.