Twitter Hacking - Lessons to be Learnt

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Jul 20, 2009

TechCrunch, the site that published some of the documents stolen by Twitter hacker - Hacker Croll, said the hacker made use of poor password practices to hack into accounts of a Twitter employee, Evan Williams, CEO of Twiter, and Biz Stone co-founder.

The ease with which the entire process was carried out should make us worry about the security of our own digital accounts. Though against a determined hacker there is not much one can do, there are still some simple things that one must always follow.

* Never use the same password for more than one service — It is tempting and many people in fact repeat passwords and this is not just about recycling passwords from defunct services (though that is risky too), but using the same password for multiple, active services like email clients, social networking accounts, etc. It is the worst thing you can do.

* Create strong passwords — How do you know your password is strong enough? Well, there is a strength meter on most services that tests the password. It is not completely reliable but at least it gives a fair idea. A trick would be using alphanumeric characters and symbols like ‘@,$,&, etc." Using your wife’s, kid’s, parent’s name is a big no-no. So is using the name of your favorite band, movie, etc. Keep the password impersonal and random.

* Do not make a list of your passwords - It is something we all know but it is still surprising how many people have the habit of saving their passwords on their desktop or, even worse, in their draft folders.

* Be careful of how much information you give out online - Almost everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and a host of other social networking sites. As hard as we may try, most of us inadvertently end up divulging a little too much information about ourselves when online. A smart hacker can make use of this — what happened with Twitter is a case in point.

Related links
Tips for Securing Your Wi-Fi Networks
Ethical Hacking

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