Feeds

Twitter reaches settlement with feds over privacy lapses

Password sins absolved

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Twitter has agreed to overhaul its data-security practices to settle federal charges that shoddy password policies and other lapses at the microblogging site exposed its users' private information.

Under a tentative settlement reached with the Federal Trade Commission, Twitter must establish a comprehensive information-security program that is assessed by a third party every other year for the next decade. The San Francisco-based company will also be barred from “misleading consumers about the extent to which it maintains and protects the security, privacy, and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information,” according to a release issued Thursday.

The settlement settles charges that Twitter misled its millions of users about the safety of their private information stored on the website. The federal consumer watchdog agency also cited two lapses last year that it said contradicted those assurances. In the first one, which occurred in January, a hacker used an automated password-guessing script to obtain administrative control after flooding the website with thousands of possible phrases. He hit pay dirt when the program submitted the word “happiness,” Wired.com reported at the time.

Three months later, a separate hacker also gained administrative control of the site after first compromising a Twitter employee's personal email account, where her password was stored in the clear. At the time, Twitter encouraged employees to use their own personal accounts for work purposes and had them sign in to restricted parts of the site using the same login screen used by normal users, the FTC said.

The FTC included a litany of other security sins committed by Twitter, including allowing employees to use simple words found in the dictionary to access administrative accounts, allowing them to store them in the clear and failing to require passwords to be changed regularly.

The agreement is subject to public comment for 30 days before commissioners decide whether it should be final. A link for submissions is here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.