Twitter has 200 million active users
Twitter has said that it recently detected a series of attempts to hack into user data and that the attackers may have successfully absconded with some users' information.
In a blog post, Twitter explained the situation and the steps it has taken to fight off the hackers.
"This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information -- usernames, e-mail addresses, session tokens, and encrypted/salted versions of passwords -- for approximately 250,000 users.
As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts. If your account was one of them, you will have recently received (or will shortly) an e-mail from us at the address associated with your Twitter account notifying you that you will need to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to Twitter."
In an e-mail to affected users, Twitter wrote that it "believes that your account may have been compromised by a Web site or service not associated with Twitter. We've reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account."
Many people are speculating on Twitter that the affected accounts are all among the service's earliest -- in other words, that they were accounts created in 2006 or 2007, since only owners of accounts that old seem to have received the notice from Twitter. It appears that the hackers behind the attacks had not targeted any specific group, like political dissidents or media organizations.