Twitter has issued an alert to users prompting them to change their passwords after it was discovered some users’ passwords had been recorded in a plain text log file accessible by Twitter employees. Twitter has issued a message to most users alerting them of the issue with the following statement:
We recently identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We have fixed the bug, and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse by anyone. Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password.
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. Twitter Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agrawal, stated “This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard.” Due to a bug, passwords were written to an internal log before completing the hashing process. “We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again.”
While Twitter’s security team determined that it was unlikely that the passwords had been leaked or misused, we highly recommend you change your password for any sites or services that utilized the same password.