U.S. President-elect Barack Obama was among 33 Twitter users who had their accounts hacked.
According to social messaging company Twitter, the hack-which also claimed the account of CNN anchor Rick Sanchez-is separate from the phishing attacks that have been circulating on Twitter since the weekend of Jan. 3.
“These accounts were compromised by an individual who hacked into some of the tools our support team uses to help people do things like edit the e-mail address associated with their Twitter account when they can’t remember or get stuck,” said a post on the Twitter blog. “We considered this a very serious breach of security and immediately took the support tools offline. We’ll put them back only when they’re safe and secure.”
The accounts were locked down this morning, Jan. 5, when the hack was discovered, but Twitter said the users now are back in full control of their accounts.
It’s been an interesting few days for the social networking service. Over the weekend, reports of a phishing scheme directing users to a phony log-in page began to pop up. Since then, phishers have begun using compromised accounts to facilitate a second campaign that tries to lure users into giving up their log-in credentials with promises of an Apple iPhone.
“Twitter users who fear they may have been compromised need to act quickly and change their passwords, and consider adopting a more secure and less trusting attitude next time they receive a message out of the blue,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in an interview with eWEEK.