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News

Twitter Hack Reminds Users Of Security Requirements

Sophos : 07 September, 2010  (Technical Article)
Sophos is warning users of Twitter to be vigilant about passwords on the social networking site to avoid being hacked
IT security and control firm Sophos is again reminding Twitter users of the importance of good password management following news that British TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp's Twitter account was compromised over the weekend. Allsopp, best known for her Channel 4 property programme 'Location, Location, Location', only found out that her account had been hacked when some of her 47,000 Twitter followers alerted her to the out-of-character tweets.

Allsopp has since removed the offending tweets, which contained links leading unsuspecting fans to webpages where they were encouraged to apply for free iPads in exchange for personal information and sign up for scams that charged £4.50 per week.

"Interestingly, the spam messages were sent 'via web', suggesting that it wasn't a third party application or linked website that was used to send the messages," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos. "It seems likely that Kirstie Allsopp's Twitter password was stolen via a phishing or spyware infection on her computer, or that she was using the same password on multiple websites - which is never a good idea."

In the past, well known figures such as Lindsay Lohan, British politician Ed Miliband and Britney Spears have all had their Twitter accounts compromised by hackers.

Sophos advises Twitter users to always choose a hard-to-guess, non-dictionary word as their password and to use different passwords for all their online accounts. Anyone who finds their account has been compromised should also scan their computer with an up-to-date anti-virus product.
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