SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — Twitter on Thursday recommended that all of its roughly 336 million subscribers change their passwords after the company discovered a “bug” that left user account passwords stored in plaintext on the company’s servers.
According to a blog post by Twitter’s CTO Parag Agrawal, Twitter does not believe that any of the exposed passwords “ever left Twitter’s systems or was misused by anyone” but recommended that users update their login information out of an “abundance of caution.”
According to Agrawal, the bug left the passwords exposed as part of the encryption process that renders them unreadable.
In the blog post, Agrawal wrote:
“When you set a password for your Twitter account, we use technology that masks it so no one at the company can see it. 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.
“We mask 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 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.”