Twitter has seen a huge surge in its popularity recently. People from virtually every sphere of life are flocking to the micro-blogging site to vent out their thoughts. However, at the same time, Twitter has become the hub for spammers who spew a huge amount of spam tweets through bots and fake accounts. It would seem that a recent data breach resulting in the public publishing of 55000 accounts’ details may have targeted spammers.
Hackers were somehow able to access the details of some 55000 Twitter accounts. The details included Twitter handle and password. These details were then published online on the online notepad of hackers, the Pastebin. You can view the five Pastebin pages where the information has been uploaded over here: One, Two, Three, Four and Five.
However, it seems that the hackers weren’t specifically targeting common users and rather, intended to display the details of fake accounts, spammers and bots. This is because a huge number of accounts which have been published on Pastebin are such accounts which have weird Twitter handles and have their profile descriptions such that they come off as bots.
Twitter was quick to advise all such users whose account details have been published to reset their accounts, “We have pushed out password resets to accounts that may have been affected.”
Also, the company itself acknowledged that the targeted accounts comprised of a large number of non-original accounts, “We’ve discovered that the list of alleged accounts and passwords found on Pastebin consists of more than 20,000 duplicates, many spam accounts that have already been suspended and many login credentials that do not appear to be linked — that is, the password and username are not actually associated with each other.”
Spam has been an increasingly greater problem at Twitter. While the company has been actively filtering out spammers, they keep coming back. And it seems that there is no sure shot way to rid them.