Security Experts:

URL Shortener Bit.ly Says Account Credentials Possibly Compromised

Bitly, the popular URL shortening service used to share links through social media and other means, warned on Thursday that user account credentials may have been compromised.

“We have reason to believe that Bitly account credentials have been compromised,” Mark Josephson, CEO of Bitly, wrote in security notice. “We have no indication at this time that any accounts have been accessed without permission. For our users’ protection, we have taken proactive steps to ensure the security of all accounts, including disconnecting all users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.”

Josephson said that users should change their API key and OAuth token, reset their passwords, and reconnect any Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The company has invalidated all credentials within Facebook and Twitter, forcing users to reconnect their Facebook and Twitter profiles in order to publish to their accounts.

The company provided no details on how the compromise occurred, but did say that it has “taken proactive measures to secure all paths that led to the compromise and ensure the security of all account credentials going forward.”

The company provided the following instructions for users to reset API keys and OAuth tokens:

1) Log in to your account and click on ‘Your Settings,’ then the ‘Advanced’ tab.

2) At the bottom of the ‘Advanced’ tab, select ‘Reset’ next to ‘Legacy API key.’

3) Copy down your new API key and change it in all applications. These can include social publishers, share buttons and mobile apps.

4) Go to the ‘Profile’ tab and reset your password.  

5) Disconnect and reconnect any applications that use Bitly. You can check which accounts are connected under the ‘Connected Accounts’ tab in ‘Your Settings.’

The privately held company shortens more than 1 billion links per month and handles more than 6 billion clicks per month.