A wave of social media sites were yesterday  hit by a cyber-attack as software giant Microsoft also admitted they had been  breached in ‘a similar way’ to recent incidents at Facebook and Apple.

Twitter, Tumblr and virtual clipboard site  Pinterest all admitted they had been hit yesterday, writing to users to tell  them their personal data had been breached.

Microsoft also chose to report a past attack  yesterday but would not say on what date the breach took place.

The world’s largest software company said it  hit only internal computers and didn’t have any impact on customers details.

They said they wouldn’t report the date for  security reasons but admitted it had similarities in style to attack experienced  by Facebook and Apple earlier this month.

‘As reported by Facebook and Apple, Microsoft  can confirm that we also recently experienced a similar security intrusion,’ the  company said on its security blog.

‘Consistent with our security response  practices, we chose not to make a statement during the initial information  gathering process. During our investigation, we found a small number of  computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by  malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other  organizations. We have no evidence of customer data being affected and our  investigation is ongoing.’

‘This type of cyber-attack is no surprise to  Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent  adversaries.’

The three social media websites were hit by  an attack on a customer service program used across them all  yesterday.

They were forced to warn users that their  details could have been leaked following the breach at Zendesk which operates  its email exchange with customers.

Zendesk said it was hacked for users email  addresses and subject lines.

‘We believe that the hacker downloaded email  addresses of users who contacted those three customers for support, as well as  support email subject lines,” Zendesk said.

Affected users of all three sites were  contacted and reminded to keep their passwords strong and told to check whether  any sensitive information was mentioned in email exchanges with the websites  which would have been conducted via Zendesk.  

‘We recently learned that the vendor we use  to answer support requests and other emails (Zendesk) experienced a security  breach,’ a warning email by Pinterest said.

‘We’re sending you this email because we  received or answered a message from you using Zendesk. Unfortunately your name,  email address and subject line of your message were improperly accessed during  their security breach.’

Facebook and Apple both revealed they had  been hit earlier this month.

Apple said some of its internal computers  were infected by malware but no data was stolen.

Facebook suffered an intrusion they described  as a ‘sophisticated attack’ but said they did not believe user data was  compromised.

It said in a blog post on February 15:  ‘Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked  and infiltrated recently as well. As one of the first companies to discover this  malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the  infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected. We plan  to continue collaborating on this incident through an informal working group and  other means.’

Earlier in the month Twitter reported a  hacking attempt which could have exposed details of up to 250,000 users.


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