Another day, another reason to hurriedly check your social media accounts.
Days after hackers accessed Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts with an old password they discovered in a LinkedIn leak, it's the turn of Twitter to sweat nervously as news breaks that as many as 32 million account details are being sold on the markets of the dark web.
LeakedSource, a website that provides a searchable database of 1.8 million leaked account details from the likes of MySpace, LinkedIn and Badoo, has recently added "tens of millions" of Twitter accounts to its files.
"This data set was provided to us by a user who goes by the alias 'Tessa88@exploit.im'," explains the site," and has given us permission to name them in this blog."
'Tessa88' has a track record of providing legitimate hack details, having recently shared the leaked accounts of 100 million users of the Russian site VK.com.
A Twitter spokesperson has stated that the service is confident its networks haven't been breached, saying "In fact, we’ve been working to help keep accounts protected by checking our data against what’s been shared from recent other password leaks."
However, LeakedSource believes the cache of details may have been obtained by malware - malicious software installed on users' Chrome and Firefox web browsers that captured their Twitter details covertly. The majority of the leaked details appear to be from Russian accounts.
What should you do about it?
Well, you can check LeakedSource to see if your details are listed - but even if they're not, you'd want to take the same precautions:
- Don't use the same single password for multiple accounts
- Don't reuse an old password, even if you're sure you don't use it for other sites
- Do set up two-step authentication when websites allow it. While a hacker might get your password, they'll be stumped if they haven't got access to your phone
- Don't open emails that tell you 'Your account has been compromised! Re-enter your details here!'
- Do be suspicious of every request for your details, no matter how legitimate the website or email request looks