What are we talking about?
Obviously the 250,000 user accounts hacked by suspicious group on a lookout to infringe on data privacy.
The news feeds are rife with plausible reasons for the hack and the suspected source as well. Well that's an important cog in the series of investigation no doubt. But more than gauging the source of contagion, it needs a defensive armor to help resuscitate the victims of the hack. Don't they say "Prevention is better than Cure".
So the next logical question is are all users vulnerable or possibly prone to an open attack?
Well we say unless you are a hot shot, a celeb, a sensationalist like Julian Assange or a world leader, rest assured you are at minimal risk. Watch the word "mininal" , not totally scotch-free mind you!
With the source of interlopers still unclear, the reasons for the hack may be anything ranging from politically motivated intelligence hack to as petty as cheap fun. Twitter also reaffirmed this incident in their blog. "The attack was not the work of amateurs and we do not believe it was an isolated incident.The attackers were extremely sophisticated and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked".
So here are some pointers that the loyal and concerned Twitter users should be aware of before going gung-ho with shouts of "Hack".
1. If your account has been hacked, you won't be able to log-in. Rest assured it's not because of a typing error or a Caps Lock issue. Twitter has identified possible affected accounts and has fitted in pop up messages that say "problem with your username or password".
2. Added to this Twitter team has assured temporary safeguards by resetting passwords and revoking the "session tokens". This simply means that in case of an attempted hack again, the accounts will be safe even if the hackers break the encryption codes, because passwords just won't work!
3. If you are one of those unfortunate million who joined Twitter in 2007, you are a likely target. Why because the hacked Twitter database is by default arranged inn an ascending order i.e from User no.1 onwards. Most of us may not even remember the year we started our tweeting spree, but rest assured you can always find out your "Twitter birthday".
4. If you haven't received a mail from the Twitter support, don't get slack. You may be a potential target as well. Black hats are always on a look out for sensitive data or avenues to access such information that is deemed prohibitory for common use. In such cases using a civilian account to gain access to multiple accounts is one way to go about. So users need to be on guard and check their Spam folders in case they have received a Twitter alert.
5. If you are a third-party client and are still tweeting easily, the reason may not be that you are previleged. Instead thank the Twitter team that doesn't allow access to the user passwords but issues "tokens" to third party programs that are sent for methodical authorization before being tweeted. The thing however is that the reset password measure is only a limited action as restricting certain app usage would have harmed both the users and app developers alike.
So the bottomline is that while Twitter is doing all it can for damage control, it is the individual users who have to watch their backs themselves.
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