Bitly cuts off Facebook and Twitter after being hacked

Steven Loeb · May 9, 2014 · Short URL:

Company says no accounts were accessed, but disconnected them anyway as a preemptive measure

You know that Dean Martin song that goes, "you're nobody until somebody loves you"? Putting all the weird implications of that phrase aside, in tech its becoming that you're nobody until somebody hacks you. (Yeah, I know, that was a lot to get through for a not very funny joke. Whatever, I've got a lot of space to fill!)

Seriously, though, take a look at the list: TwitterFacebookZendeskApple, Microsoft, Evernote, Snapchat, Skype; they've all been hit in the last year. And now you can add another company to that list: Bitly.

Bitly revealed in a blog post on Thursday that it has "reason to believe" that its account credentials were breached. Though Bitly also said that it has "no indication at this time that any accounts have been accessed without permission," it still took the preemptive measure of disconnecting some of its users' accounts.

Better to be safe than sorry, right?

"For our users’ protection, we have taken proactive steps to ensure the security of all accounts, including disconnecting all users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts," Mark Josephson, CEO of Bitly, wrote. "All users can safely reconnect these accounts at their next login."

The company noted that users might still see their Facebook and Twitter accounts connected, but they won't be able to publis to them until they go through the steps to reconnect them.

That involves users resetting their Legacy API key and and changing it in all applications. That can include social publishers, share buttons and mobile apps. Users also have to reset their passwords.

Founded in 2008, New York City-based Bitly allows users to shorten links, making sharing easier and allowing companies to gain further insights into campaigns by tracking the shortened links. Bitly powers over 10,000 custom short URLs and offers an enterprise analytics platform that helps web publishers and brands grow their social media traffic.

The company was originally the default link shortener used by Twitter, until Twitter decided to develop its own product in 2009. In February, Bitly introduced link insights, to show users the "life" of a link, along with real-time insights, including the first to save a link, or saving a link that was popular today or in the past.

"We have already taken proactive measures to secure all paths that led to the compromise and ensure the security of all account credentials going forward," said Josephson. "We take your security and trust in us seriously. The team has been working hard to ensure all accounts are secure."

VatorNews has reached out to Bitly to find out more, including what kind of breach it was, how severe was the threat, how they you become aware of it and how long had it been going on before that.

The company was not available for comment at this time, and we will update if we learn more.

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