Update: Twitter blames celebrity hack on 'individual'

After a number of most popular accounts were compromised, Twitter has come out and said that it was a hacker, not the phishing scam making the rounds recently.

CNN anchor Rick Sanchez wasn't really high on crack this morning, and the reason his Twitter feed said so wasn't the phishing scam that's been going around--it was a lone hacker, the microblogging service said later on Monday.

"The issue with these 33 accounts is different from the Phishing scam aimed at Twitter users this weekend," a post on the Twitter blog explained. "These accounts were compromised by an individual who hacked into some of the tools our support team uses to help people do things like edit the e-mail address associated with their Twitter account when they can't remember or get stuck. We considered this a very serious breach of security and immediately took the support tools offline. We'll put them back only when they're safe and secure."

The same hacker was responsible for compromising a number of Twitter's most popular accounts, including those belonging to pop singer Britney Spears, media outlet Fox News, and President-elect Barack Obama.

Twitter has said, meanwhile, that the phishing scam--which used messages from Twitter friends to trick users into entering their user names and passwords into a bogus log-in screen--is under control. "Our on-call team was able to attend to the matter quickly and prevent too many people from being affected," Twitter's blog post read. "Our support team is definitely going to have a busy week because we reset a bunch of passwords just to be on the safe side."

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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