Twitter Gets Hacked, Badly

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Phishing attacks, which hit Twitter over the weekend, are a sign a service has arrived (Facebook has the same problem). But someone hacking into Twitter’s internal admin tools and compromising 33 high profile accounts, including President Elect Barack Obama, has Twitter users freaking out about what to do.

Here is Twitter’s official explanation:

This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been “hacked” including prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama (who has not been Twittering since becoming the president elect due to transition issues). We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue. Rick, Barack, and others are now back in control of their accounts.

What Happened?

The issue with these 33 accounts is different from the Phishing scam aimed at Twitter users this weekend. 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 email address associated with their Twitter account when they can’t remember or get stuck. 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.

Most of us got a good chuckle out of the various messages that were left on the Twitter accounts for Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Bill O’Reilly and others this morning. But one other message came through loud and clear – Twitter is not yet ready for prime time, even though users continue to flock to the service.

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