Monday June 17, 2019
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Twitter Asked 336 Million Users to Change Password as it Has Detected a Bug

Twitter masks 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.

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Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news
Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news. Pixabay

It is time to change your Twitter password now as the micro-blogging platform has asked its 336 million users to do so across its services after it discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in an internal system.

In a blog post on Thursday, Twitter said it 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,” said Parag Agrawal, Chief Technology Officer at Twitter, adding that Twitter is sorry that this has happened.

“We recognise and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day,” he wrote.

Twitter masks 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.

"We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again," Twitter said.
Representational Image, Pexels

“This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard,” Agrawal noted.

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,” Twitter said.

Agrawal advised people to change their passwords, enable two-factor authentication on their Twitter account and use a password manager to create strong, unique passwords on every service they use.

After the massive Facebook data scandal, a report in The Sunday Telegraph recently claimed that Twitter had also sold users’ data to a Cambridge Analytica (CA) researcher who collected the data of 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge — a charge that Twitter has denied.

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According to the report, Twitter sold public data access “for one day” in 2015 to Aleksandr Kogan, then a psychology researcher with University of Cambridge, and his company Global Science Research (GSR).

In a statement given to IANS, Twitter said that based on the recent reports, they conducted their own internal review and did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.

Twitter reported a revenue of $665 million — an increase of 21 per cent year-over-year (yoy) — in the first quarter of 2018. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Users at Twitter, Instagram Go ‘Blue’ in Support of Sudan

The Army cracked down on the demonstrators and destroyed the encampment, the nerve centre of the protest that led to the overthrow of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

In a bid to raise awareness about the current volatile situation in Sudan, social media users in large numbers have turned their profile picture blue.

While some Twitter and Instagram users have made the profile picture circle appear solid blue, others posted a solid blue square as an image. Some have done both.

Instagram has so far recorded close to 18,000 posts with the hashtag #BlueForSudan.

“It is time to stand hand in hand. Their voices must be heard. #BlueForSudan,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Ignorance is worse than violence.. Stand with Humanity, Stand with #sudan #BlueForSudan,” wrote another.

Some users have also posted the drawing of a crying woman wearing a hijab to draw attention to the political crisis in the north African country.

The violence in Sudan followed a couple of months after the ouster of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

UN Chief, Sudan Protesters
Sudanese protesters use burning tires to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country’s Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians, in Khartoum, Sudan, June 3, 2019. VOA

The trigger for social media users to turn blue was the death of a young man who was allegedly killed during a crackdown on protesters on June 3.

“Those who are taking part in spreading #BlueForSudan. The colour blue came from a warm hearted, martyr known as, Mohammed Hashim Mattar, my cousin who has passed away on the 3rd of June, as he was standing proud. Blue was his fav colour, which now presents unity. Mattar’s Blue,” tweeted one user.

To honour his death, Mattar’s friends and family put up the blue colour on their profiles, but others soon followed.

The Sudanese government last Thursday said that 46 people were killed in “recent events” that began with an assault on a protest camp earlier this week in the capital Khartoum, while the opposition Committee of Doctors said at least 108 people had died.

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In what was the first official death toll since a military crackdown on a camp that had been set up for two months, the Sudanese Undersecretary for the Health Ministry, Suleiman Abdul Jabbar, said in a statement that the toll had not reached 100, Efe news reported.

Sudanese security forces last Monday raided an encampment that had been set up in front of the Army headquarters since April 6 and began firing to clear the area.

The Army cracked down on the demonstrators and destroyed the encampment, the nerve centre of the protest that led to the overthrow of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. (IANS)