Although there are no indications of any security breach, Twitter is advising its more than 330 million users to change their passwords as soon as possible.
The company discovered a bug that caused many account keys to be stored in readable text on Twitter’s internal computers, rather than having them encrypted.
Twitter revealed the issue in a blog post and a series of tweets this Thursday afternoon, assuring users that the problem had been resolved. The social media giant also claimed an internal investigation concluded there was no indication that the passwords were stolen or misused by intruders.
Twitter urges their users to consider changing their passwords as an extra precaution.
“We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone,” Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet. “As a precaution, consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password.”
However, the company did not disclose the exact number of passwords that were affected.
Reuters reports that according to an individual close with the company, the number was “substantial” and that the exposure lasted for “several months.”
Twitter’s announcement comes hot on the heels on the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has prompted lawmakers and regulators around the world to take a second look at online companies that handle large amounts of consumer data, which to this moment had run fairly unrestrained.
After a string of high profile security breaches and impactful leaks – Equifax, Uber and Facebook – governments are pushing to scrutinise the way companies store and secure user information.
Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify before the US Congress less than a month ago, and The European Union will start enforcing tighter privacy laws this month.