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Twitter announced today (May 3) that it had accidentally "unmasked" user passwords by storing them unencrypted in an internal log file.
The glitch was related to its use of "hashing", which masks passwords as users enters them by replacing them with numbers and letters, according to its blog.
"Password hashing" is an industry standard, and can prevent a hacker from quickly exploiting the information if it ever leaks. But it turns out that there was in fact, a bug that stored passwords in plain text in Twitter's internal systems.
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Twitter said that it had discovered the error itself and removed the passwords.
Agrawal urged users to consider changing their passwords on all services they had used them for, and shared some tips for firming up the security of their accounts.
Agrawal also took to Twitter to talk about the issue, first saying "We are sharing this information to help people make an informed decision about their account security". I've believed we have to.
After the recent disclose that Twitter sold data to Cambridge Analytica, Twitter already received severe criticism. In the same tweet he goes on to say, "We didn't have to, but believe it's the right thing to do".
"I will not have stated we did not need to talk about".
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It seems Agrawal realized his initial tweet was a mistake.
The company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, called the glitch an "internal defect".
As a result, Twitter suggested that its users change their passwords. One source told Reuters said the number is "substantial" and that the passwords were exposed for "several months". If you're changing the password, ensure that it's unique and not same as other internet services you use.
For adding an extra layer of security, it's advised that you should enable two-factor authentication for your Twitter account.
Click Ok on the pop-up box that describes the login verification setup process.
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When you sign in to Twitter after setting up login verification, you start the process as usual but are asked to enter the code sent to your mobile phone in a second login verification step.