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Digest

Twitter downplays breach that exposed passwords

Source: InformationWeek
May 8, 2012
Tens of thousands of Twitter users' email addresses and passwords have been dumped online.

The leaked information, comprising 58,978 username and password combinations, appeared Monday on Pastebin. While Twitter said that it's investigating the breach, it’s also downplayed the supposed size and severity of the data dump.

"We are currently looking into the situation," said spokeswoman Rachel Bremer via email. "It's worth noting that, so far, 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)."

Most hackers dumping data on Pastebin only divulge a subset of their data, then link to a torrent file for anyone who wants to download the entire data set. But in this case, whoever posted the data simply pasted the information across five different Pastebin posts. (Links: one, two, three, four, and five.) That was necessary since Pastebin imposes a 512 Kb limit on each post.

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