Twitter late Friday night reported on its blog that during the week, it was the victim of a cyber attack by an "extremely sophisticated" group of hackers. While the company said it had been able to shut down the attack within moments of discovering it, the hackers may have gained access to up to 250,000 accounts, including obtaining usernames, email addresses and passwords. Twitter has sent emails to users whose accounts are suspected to have been affected, resetting their passwords and asking for users to create new one.
Twitter also sounded the alarm on what it said what was likely a broader pattern of coordinated cyber attacks on other companies. As Twitter director of information security Bob Lord wrote on the company's blog:
This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked. For that reason we felt that it was important to publicize this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the Internet safer for all users.