back to article Twitter's underwear exposed after Google Apps hack

An unidentified hacker has exposed confidential corporate and personal information belonging to microblogging site Twitter and its employees after breaching electronic accounts belonging to several people close to the company. The episode is the latest reminder that the convenience of cloud-based services that store …


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  1. Charles Manning

    Who cares?

    Within a few months twitter will shut down and all the disks will be for sale on eBay.

  2. transContext

    Security: tough

    Security is tough.

    Best bet: Use a password manager with encrypted database, ideally on a mobile device you use often.

    Many of these password managers sync with desktops, which comes in handy.

    You can cut down on memorizing too many (any) random passwords by remembering just one -- the password to your password manager.

    Consider the hassle of doing this to be an investment.

    It won't stop hacking, but it will remove some of the lowest hanging fruit for would-be attackers and pranksters.

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    The shift in "due diligence" (am I an old fart yet?)

    You know what, in my (not so distant) years, computer safety was about not trusting 3rd pary software too much and making sure that no dubious "alien" had access to your files (and, most importantly, about DNUTO*). Now it looks more like "let a self-dignified script-kiddie manage both your software and hardware and hope for the best". Right, what's the point in hiring a seasonned IT professional to develop a secure-by-design networked app (at 30 grands a year in salary, plus twice that for hardware) when you can use a ready-made "cloud" app developped by a guy -so green he needs pruning- for 10 quids per user per year? Stories like this one provide the beginning of an answer, methink. Meanwhile, my lusers keep wondering why they can't access -and modify- their data on "my" ftp server through an external unencrypted connexion.

    Bah. Time. for a pint.

    *Do Not Upset The Operator

  4. James Dunmore

    Google docs were not hacked, where they?

    Surely that was social engineering against the twitter employee? People are the biggest threat to security, regardless of where the stuff is held.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    What did the information say?

    8:30 got up and dressed

    8:45 cleaned teeth

    9:00 started computer

    9:15 took a dump

    The usual twitter nonsense? No-one's been hurt.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    SEC Investigation?

    What a brilliant way to lure investors and boost your share price - release false internal "private" documents to the world via a hacker! False history, false revenues, false projections :)

    Not that I'm cynical about the profits.

  7. Snake Plissken

    I look forward...

    to seeing this on the front page of the Guardian and Daily Telegraph, along all their other Twitter puff pieces.

    I suspect I'm in for a long wait.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    by the end of 2013, the company expects to have 1 billion users and revenue of $1.54bn

    Whoa! By the end of 2011 my impossibly cool web 2.0 idea will be on-line. By the end of 2013 I expect it to have 68 trillion users and be worth more than Oracle, Microsoft and a bunch of oil sultans together. Wanna buy a piece of it now for only a million dollars?

  9. Tony Hoyle

    $1.45 per user per year?

    "1 billion users and revenue of $1.54bn"

    What? So they expect each user to generate $1.45 a year in revenue?

    What kind of crappy business plan is that?

  10. frank ly

    At least the Gnomes didn't take them

    "Twitter's Stone compared the breach to having one's underwear drawer publicly rifled through: "Embarrassing, but no one's really going to be surprised about what's in there."

    Doesn't that depend on what kind of underwear is in there? I'd have no embarrassment at all if anyone saw the contents of my underwear drawer.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    No encryption?

    echoing @transContext ... wouldn't it have made sense to encrypt the data? They have unwittingly acted as a cautionary tale for other cloud enthusiasts. If you aren't in control of the data, make sure it's protected.

  12. Ru

    Re: "seasonned IT 30 grands a year"

    I trust you're talking sterling there, rather than dollars. And even then, 30k is slim pickings for a skilled and capable coder.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    "Google apps hack" = guessing a password.

    Move along, move along...

  14. Ian Ferguson

    Google Apps

    I've just received a marketing mailing from Google (with a Comic Sans header, by the way - brand fail) trying to convince me that I could save £31,000 a year by switching from Exchange to Google Apps.

    Even if that figure wasn't vastly inflated, I'd still rather spend the money and not have our data floating around in the cloud... I know my users and their password habits.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Not for the Fainted Hearted and Lily Livered.

    Twitter is a Super Lovers Notepad with all Manner of Stealthy Steganographic XSSXXXXually Implicit and Complicit Master Coded Missives. And a Right Mornington Crescent of an Application to Master.

  16. Rob

    Large amounts of FAIL

    "1 billion users and revenue of $1.54bn"

    LOL sounds like the twats that get ripped to shreds in the Dragons Den and then booted out.

    Even funnier is the prediction of revenue when they haven't offered any ideas how they will start getting a revenue.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    "Biz Stone"?

    Isn't there anyone in this Web 2.0 business called Philip Smith*, Jonathon Williams* or something else of a more prosaic nature?

    More importantly, if I change my name to something like "Jaks Thumper" are a load of Venture Capitalists going to queue up to give me money in exchange for bullshit?

    *If you are actually called Philip Smith or Jonathon Williams, I don't mean to imply that you're boring or anything**, these are just random examples. Sorry.

    **Even if you are.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Oh the irony....

    On another news site where this story was broken, there was a link to the author's twitter page at the end of the article. Who's up for helping me <strike>guess the password</strike> "hack" it?

  19. Mark McC

    @frank ly

    Your reference to South Park's underwear-stealing gnomes is strangely appropriate, since both parties seem to follow the same 3-stage business plan.

    1. Collect underwear / tweets.

    2. ??

    3. Profit!

  20. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    @ Ru

    I was thinking euros. And 30 Keuros is a lot of money in 3rd world countries (such as Leeds). It was a bit underestimated, but not more than the estimation for the hardware... what do you get nowadays for 60 000 euros? An iPhone and a 2-years-old macbook? But you got the point.

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