Twitter Inc. urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some of them to be stored in plain text on its internal computer system.
According to the company, the bug has since been fixed and there's no indication of a breach. The company has requested that if you have used the same password on other sites as well, then you should definitely change those too.
"We are very sorry this happened", the Twitter blog said. In short, there was something employees had access to that contained potentially every users' unencrypted password (Twitter didn't give a number for how many passwords were involved). Due to a bug, the passwords were on an internal log.
The issue appeared through a bug in Twitter's password hashing. It is great that Twitter chose to come upfront with this information and it would be wise to change your Twitter account's password right now.
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As ever, it's a good idea to not only change your password, but also to enable two-factor authentication on your account.
If Twitter had suffered a breach, hashed passwords would have provided an extra layer of protection.
The company only says that the bug was discovered "recently". The company said it was "implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again".
The bug: Twitter masks passwords through a process called hashing using a function known as bcrypt, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter's system. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.