Twitter's Internal Corporate System is Attacked

July 21, 2009  Malware News

An attacker using the nickname "Hacker Croll" stole sensitive data in email attachments and shared documents from one of Twitter's employees on the Twitter social network. The attack itself was made through a compromised Gmail account. The attacker gathered enough information about the user of the Gmail account to be able to answer his security question with the intention of resetting the user's password. Once the attacker changed this password, he found that the password had also been sent to another of the user's email accounts at Hotmail. The attacker realized that he had to process the data from the user's Gmail account quickly to prevent exposure of his attack. However, the user made another mistake because his Gmail account contained confirmation emails from his other web services and the passwords for most of his accounts were identical. This is how the attacker also managed to take control of the user's Hotmail account. Then, the attacker just changed the password on Gmail back to the original and deleted the email notification about the password change on the Hotmail account. That´s how he covered traces of his activity so that the original user would continue using the account. Croll had access to the user's emails and shared documents in the Google Apps service (again using the same password), etc. The fact that the user had used his private email address for work purposes led to the compromise of sensitive corporate data. This case highlights the problem of using the same password for several services. This is why Spyware Terminator recommends not using the same password for your email account, PayPal account, online banking account and other accounts that attackers might gain access to, even if they managed to access just one of your accounts. We also recommend using strong passwords that include capital letters and numbers and answers to security questions that are not obvious or easily guessed.

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