Twitter Hack Determined to Be False Alarm

May 10, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

 (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)
(Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)
Many Twitter users were concerned Monday when their trusted passwords failed to let them into their accounts. Some thought the site had been hacked but it turned out site operators caused the malfunction.

The popular micro blogging site Twitter has been experiencing some recent technological glitches creating concerns for site regulars. Monday users were unable to log into their accounts causing millions of users to think the site had been hacked, as it had been last December.

The real reason for the malfunctioning Twitter accounts was a bug that had set all of the followers counters to zero. CNN Money posted an article online discussing the issue of Twitter users not being able to count their followers. Usually the number of followers on someone’s Twitter account is clearly distinguished but an unknown bug had interfered with the counter.

"We're now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place. Follower/following numbers are currently at zero; we're aware and this too should shortly be resolved,” read a recent Twitter blog.

The work that the computer engineers did at Twitter had a side effect. Users were unable to log into their accounts, while coders were trying to restore the followers counters that had been generating complaints from site users. The zero count may have disturbed some Twitter clients, but users were still able to view the activity of their friends, prior to the intervention.

The rumor of the hack came from the assumption that the blocked passwords could be related to another successful hacking of Twitter. The gang of overseas hackers labeling themselves the “Iranian Cyber Army” rearranged the Twitter homepage to their own liking last year.

Other Twitter hacks on individual accounts made the headlines in March when a 25 year old man was arrested for breaking into user accounts. The hacker at that time went for major profiles such as President Barack Obama and Britney Spears. The hacker who went by the pseudonym “Hacker Croll” was arrested by French police in March. He said he had hacked the accounts just to see if it was possible.