NEW YORK — Social media giant Twitter is among the latest U.S. companies to report that it is among a growing list of victims of Internet security attacks, saying that hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users. And now, the Washington Post is joining the chorus, revealing the discovery of a sophisticated cyber attack in 2011.
Twitter said in a blog post on Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.
But Twitter discovered that the attackers may have stolen user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users they describe as "a very small percentage of our users." The company reset the pilfered passwords and sent emails advising the affected users.
The Twitter attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into the computer systems of U.S. companies, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Both newspapers reported last week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.
On Friday, the Washington Post disclosed in an article published on its website that it was also the target of a sophisticated cyberattack, which was discovered in 2011 and was first reported by an independent cybersecurity blog.