Monday, January 05, 2009

33 High Profile Twitter Accounts Hacked

twitter logoTwitters growing pains continue as the site is now confirming that 33 accounts linked to celebrities and prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez, Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Bill O’Reilly and others were indeed hacked this morning.

Here is Twitter’s official explanation:

Monday Morning Madness
This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been "hacked" including prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama (who has not been Twittering since becoming the president elect due to transition issues). We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue. Rick, Barack, and others are now back in control of their accounts.

What Happened?
The issue with these 33 accounts is different from the Phishing scam aimed at Twitter users this weekend. These accounts were compromised by an individual who hacked into some of the tools our support team uses to help people do things like edit the email address associated with their Twitter account when they can't remember or get stuck. We considered this a very serious breach of security and immediately took the support tools offline. We'll put them back only when they're safe and secure.

Twitter has been working on restoring accounts that have been phished and those that have been hacked. This is likely to be the first of many such attacks on the site so I strongly suggest reading our Tips to avoid Twitter phishing post.

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