News / Asia

Twitter Apologizes for China Hacking Error

Screenshot of Twitter apology
Screenshot of Twitter apology
Twitter is apologizing for setting off alarms about the possible hacking of accounts belonging to China-based foreign journalists, saying an email that went out earlier in the day was a mistake.

Twitter posted the apology Thursday, hours after several journalists and analysts were notified of an attempted hacking.  The emails came just as China's Communist Party begins a sensitive meeting that will set in motion a once-a-decade leadership transition.

Twitter said it automatically resets passwords in instances when it believes an account may have been compromised.  But Twitter said this time it "unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused."

The initial emails, sent out early Thursday, did not specify who carried out the hacking attempt.

Chinese Internet users have been experiencing difficulties in accessing overseas websites and in using VPNs that allow users to circumvent Chinese censorship.

Many analysts have been expecting China's extensive network of Internet censors, known as the Great Firewall of China, to crack down harder on online content in the lead-up to the congress.

David Bandurski, who heads the China Media Project in Hong Kong, told VOA he was posting Twitter messages about Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech at the 18th Party Congress when he got the initial warning.

"I had someone else, a programmer, look at it and say that's a legit message from twitter,"  Bandurski said. "Beyond that I don't know what that means or who could be behind it. I have my guesses that I won't hazard, but I'm not sure what to say other than that it's an annoyance."

Patrick Chovanec, a business professor and analyst in Beijing, told VOA he also received the message.

"What I think is more remarkable about this is that I made one tweet saying it had happened and then a lot of other people replied saying the same thing had happened to them, people who are China watchers," he explained. "That's actually the significance of it -- it wasn't actually that disruptive, but it happened to a lot of people in a similar line of work at the same time."

Twitter warns users to use updated virus software, create a strong password, and be on alert for suspicious links.

* Jeff Seldin also contributed to this story

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dean Collins from: New York
November 08, 2012 10:08 AM
This had nothign to do with China..... poor reporting

Lots of twitter accoutns received this notice this morning.

Interestingly i received this for about half of the http://www.LiveFanChat.com accounts but not others. As we dont use any unauthorised third party apps this means the Twitter backend must have been what got hacked....eg its not like the facebook leak where it was an app that was stealing user data.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid