Home Updated: Twitter Security Collapses; Obama, Fox and Britney Accounts Hacked

Updated: Twitter Security Collapses; Obama, Fox and Britney Accounts Hacked

Days after a wave of phishing attacks fooled thousands of Twitter users, it appears that another security hole has been found by…someone. Obama’s account, unused since election day, sent out an affiliate link to a survey with a gas card prize, Fox News said that “Bill O’Reily is gay” (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and Britney Spears’ made a lewd post about her anatomy. Rick Sanchez, the Twitter loving CNN anchor, says he’s “high on crack and might not be coming into work today.”

The Fox tweet was deleted an hour after it was posted, so the password may not have been changed. The Facebook account on Twitter just posted a link to porn, so it appears that the situation remains unresolved. Update: Twitter says it’s been resolved but that users should change their passwords! The Twitter blog has just posted an explanation of the breach. Screen shots of the hacked accounts below below.

This can’t be good for Twitter. It will be good for the people calling for more secure, standards based authentication on Twitter and elsewhere around the web.

Some suspected that the hacks today were associated with the weekend’s phishing attacks, but the Fox News account isn’t following anyone – so no one could have direct messaged it. That’s how accounts were taken over via phishing. Something else is afoot.

If the hacker is associated with the affiliate link sent out over Obama’s account, it may not be hard to discover who did this. Time will tell.

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams, Biz Stone and lead engineer Alex Payne have posted no messages since the attacks emerged. This can’t be good for Twitter. What major brand will be excited to sign up for the service now? Who would pay, even, to be put at such risk?

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