Twitter Inc. plans to increase security on the site after an official account of Associated Press news service was hacked and tweeted a fake news that resulted into a brief stock-market decline, according to Bloomberg.
On Tuesday, pro-Syrian hackers hijacked the AP Twitter account and posted a fake news alert claiming a pair of explosions at the White House and that the president had been injured.
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The tweet read: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”
According to a news report by Wired.com, Twitter is already in the process of testing its two-step authentication solution internally and will be looking to offer this to users shortly. The two-step authentication is aimed to make it harder for intruders to access any account on Twitter. As part of its security measure, a unique personal code will be sent to a user via text message, or generated on a device or software.
“Two-factor authentication and other measures will help reduce hacks against individual accounts. But not group accounts,” Sean Sullivan, a security researcher with F-Secure, told SecurityWatch.
Wired also reported that the micro blogging site had posted a job advertisement in February to create a team of engineers to speed up the launch of this new security system.
“The account that got compromised is the big difference here, as opposed to the traditional impersonating-a-celebrity to say something shocking,” said Wade Williamson, a senior security analyst at Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW), a provider of network-protection tools.
Putting the onus for handling hacks on their own, for now, Twitter’s support page advises users to change a compromised password and revoke connections to third-party applications.
It is important to highlight that at least 250,000 Twitter account passwords were compromised in February this year. The question is, why did it take a 250,000 password theft and a 140-point dip in the stock market to get Twitter to take two-factor security seriously?