FTC and Twitter Settle Security Breach

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After more than a year, social network Twitter has reached an agreement with the FTC over the January 2009 breach of security. This has been an ongoing concern for the company as well as the users, many of whom were affected when the breach took place. However, this has done little to dampen the spirits of those that use the site to keep people up to date on their lives.

In 2009, a teenager managed to get control of several user accounts by hacking a password on a administrators account. Included in the hacked accounts were then president-elect Barack Obama as well as the Fox News Feed. These accounts were hijacked and then used to send fake messages throughout the site.

The breach was blamed on a single employee who used a password that was too simple. The password was ‘happiness’ and the teenager was able to use a password guessing program to gain access to the account. This led the FTC to investigate because the personal information that is required for the site was then open to be viewed by the hacker.

Once the hacker had control. he posted a message on a forum for hackers allowing them access to any of the Twitter accounts that they suggested. He went on to change passwords for famous people like Britney Spears and also to send out fake messages to many people on the follower lists for the accounts.

A short time later the teen was able to hack the site again through a compromised email account belonging to one of the employees. At this point the FTC required a new security system be installed. Twitter has also agreed to undergo security checks by a third party as part of the overall settlement with the FTC.