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Twitter downplays reports of 55,000 hacked accounts

Date

Sam Laird

Twitter says most of the hacked accounts are duplicates or bogus.

Twitter says most of the hacked accounts are duplicates or bogus.

This post was originally published on Mashable.

Hackers purportedly affiliated with the hacktivist group Anonymous claimed this week to have accessed and published the details of about 55,000 Twitter accounts.

But Twitter said those claims are largely bogus, and that the group mostly posted duplicate information or username and password information for suspended spam accounts.

An anonymous Pastebin user posted five extremely long pages of alleged Twitter usernames and passwords to the text storage site on Monday. (Here are pages one, two, three, four and five.) The hacking news aggregator Airdemon.net reported the supposed breach on Tuesday, beginning to fuel speculation around the web of a massive successful attack on Twitter's servers. Airdemon said celebrity accounts were among those compromised, and also claimed to have information from a "Twitter insider" confirming the attack.

Responding to a Mashable comment request Tuesday afternoon, however, a Twitter representative debunked the notion of a hugely successful breach but said the company is still investigating the situation.

The list of accounts posted to Pastebin contains more than 20,000 duplicates and information for many spam accounts that have already been suspended, a spokesperson told Mashable in an email. Furthermore, Twitter says, many of the usernames and passwords do not in fact appear to linked to one another, rendering them essentially useless.

Twitter has sent out password resets to accounts that may have been affected and encourages other concerned users to visit the network's Help Center to change their passwords and review security settings.

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

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