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Report: Twitter Hack Caused by Hasty Adoption of Cloud Computing

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July 20, 2009

Report: Twitter Hack Caused by Hasty Adoption of Cloud Computing

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

Origin Storage, the storage systems integration provider, reportedly said the company does not find the repeated security breaches in Twitter surprising. The company said that such attacks will be expected as many IT staff and managers are being pushed into adopting cloud computing services on a fast track basis.

Twitter recently has been the target of various security attacks. First, the so-called “Month of Bugs” phenomenon exposed the vulnerabilities in third-party Twitter applications and then, the Koobface worm hit the site, causing the social network to temporarily suspend any accounts it discovered spreading the worm.
Recent reports suggested that a computer hacker has gained access to confidential documents of Twitter and some of its employees, and then forwarded the material to other servers. According to Twitter, the attack did not compromise user accounts, except for a screenshot of one person’s Twitter page.
Origin Storage said that this latest Twitter hack seems to be the result of a guessable password of a company co-founder on the Google (News - Alert) Apps service. The company said that using strong password policies forces the users to go for difficult passwords.
“Our observations suggest that a number of companies and their staff are being forced down the cloud computing route.” said Andy Cordial, Origin Storage’s managing director, in a statement. “We have had concerns about this rate of change in the business sector for some time and, with all the data breaches occurring on the cloud front, it’s obvious that the chickens are now coming home to roost.”
Experts said that a hacker might have got hold of the e-mail account they used the “recover password” feature of Google Apps and compromised the Google Apps account for that individual.
In a recently published report, the company stated that take-up of encryption amongst organizations is improving, but there is a big question mark over the encryption used being powerful enough to beat the crackers. Recent reports have shown a growing number of organizations are adopting data encryption in the wake of a litany of data breaches, losses and thefts in the last 18 months.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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