In the latest online attack, Twitter says hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users.
(AP) - Twitter confirmed Friday that it had become the latest victim in a number of high-profile cyber-attacks against media companies, saying that hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users.
The social media giant said in a blog posting that earlier this week it detected attempts to gain access to its user data. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.
But it discovered that the attackers may have stolen user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users. Twitter reset the pilfered passwords and sent emails advising affected users.
The online attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into the computer systems of U.S. media and technology companies, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both American newspapers reported this week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.
China has been accused of mounting a widespread, aggressive cyber-spying campaign for several years, trying to steal classified information and corporate secrets and to intimidate critics. The Chinese foreign ministry could not be reached for comment Saturday, but the Chinese government has said those accusations are baseless and that China itself is a victim of cyber-attacks.
"Chinese law forbids hacking and any other actions that damage Internet security," the Chinese Defense Ministry recently said. "The Chinese military has never supported any hacking activities."
Although Bob Lord, Twitter's director of information security said in the blog that the attack "was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident."