6 May 2018

Twitter advises users to change password now

If you’re using Twitter you should change your password. Twitter has advised that more than 330 million users on its platform should change their passwords due to a bug. Twitter identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked (unscrambled, thus in clear/plain text) in an internal log.

The bug has been fixed and Twitter further clarifies that through their investigations there’s no indication of a breach, no passwords have been accessed or misused by anyone; Twitter however is strongly urging you to change your Twitter account password as well as on other online services that you have used the same password.
Twitter went public through a tweet to notify about the password challenge and a statement was also posted on Twitter blog. Users can expect to see a message encouraging them to visiting their account settings to change their passwords when logging into the website and mobile application.

How to change twitter password

You can change your Twitter password by going to Settings > Password on web or Settings > Account > Change password on mobile app.

About the Bug

When you set-up your Twitter account password, Twitter uses a password hashing technology that masks your password so that no one at Twitter company can see/view your password.

In a blog post about the password incident, Twitter's Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agrawal, explains:

We mask 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. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard.

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.

How to secure your account

  • Change your password on Twitter and on any other service where you may have used the same password.
  • Use a strong password that you don’t reuse on other websites.
  • Enable login verification, also known as two factor authentication. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.
  • Use a password manager to make sure you’re using strong, unique passwords everywhere.
  • If you receive an email advising you to change your Twitter password, don’t click the link. visit twitter.com or twitter app to change your password
You may find more advise on how you can create a strong password and how best you can secure your password.