Feeds

Warez backdoor allows hackers to pwn Twitter accounts

Micro-blogging freetards in mass hack attack

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Twitter has lifted the lid on its recent advice to many users to reset their passwords for the micro-blogging site.

Originally, it was thought that the guidance had come in response to a common or garden phishing attack. In a post on Tuesday, Twitter explained that the attack was actually far more devious and elaborate.

Hackers established Torrent user sites and forums with hidden backdoors. They waited for these forums to grow in popularity before they harvested login details.

These login credentials were then used in attempts to break into accounts on third party sites such as Twitter. The attack relied on the frequent mistake of using the same password and user ID combination for multiple sites.

In other words, victims are using the same password/userID combo on warez forums and Twitter, a mistake that left them open to attack because unidentified hackers had backdoor access to these forums.

Twitter detected the attack after it became suspicious of a "sudden surge in followers" to two previously obscure accounts last week. Followers of these accounts were advised to change their passwords over concerns that hackers involved in the attack had compromised their accounts to, err, gain more followers on Twitter.

It's unclear how many profiles were pwned by the attacks or what other sites might have been involved. All might have been prevented via the use of rudimentary password security precautions.

"The takeaway from this is that people are continuing to use the same email address and password (or a variant) on multiple sites," writes Del Harvey director of Trust and Safety at Twitter. "We strongly suggest that you use different passwords for each service you sign up for," he adds. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.