comscore Twitter has a major security problem, and it ain’t fixing it
News

Twitter has a major security problem, and it ain’t fixing it

Late last night, Twitter accounts of media publications New York Post, and United Press International (UPI) got hacked. Earlier this week, Twitter account of US Central Command was also hacked. So, in

twitter-shares-drop2

Late last night, Twitter accounts of media publications New York Post, and United Press International (UPI) got hacked. Earlier this week, Twitter account of US Central Command was also hacked. So, in one week, accounts of at least three high profile entities have been brought down. Does Twitter have a serious security issue? Should you be worried? Also Read - Twitter fixes disappearing tweets issue for iOS users: Know details

Unfortunately, this week’s hack is only the latest in a long line of intrusions on the microblogging social network. In just last three years, Twitter accounts of several hundred of notable media houses, companies, and celebrities have been breached. From Fox News, to Associate Press, to eBay, to PayPal, to Sony, Twitter is making headlines everyday for all the notorious reasons. Also Read - Twitter to host its first Live shopping stream on November 28

Why are these hacks happening?

In Twitter’s defense, though, most of the times an account owner can be held responsible for the hack. They often have weak and guessable passwords, or access Twitter from public Wi-Fi, which is so insecure that anyone with a sniffing tool, which is widely and easily available on the web, can steal someone’s username and password. Also Read - Koo yellow tick: How to apply and who is eligible

Other than that, there have been numerous of cases when an employee would lose a phone and the retriever starts playing with the logged in social media accounts. In most other cases, the hacks are a result of phishing attack, wherein a vicious mind poses to be a legitimate company and have the victim type in their log-in credentials on what seems to be official page of a popular website.

“Social media accounts are commonly hacked using old, tried-and-true methods like phishing, password guessing, or old-school social engineering like whining at the help desk until they make an exception for you,” said Sam Bowne, a security professor at City College, San Francisco. “Important accounts like CENTCOM should use two-factor authentication and/or strong passwords used by staff trained to resist social engineering. Twitter has other security options too, such as restrictions on password resets, which could be used to prevent hacking.”

Recent security measures adopted by the company

The company was rather slow and late in pushing 2-factor authentication to its service. It requires two sets of passwords from a user to let them have access to their account. One part is a password which they have to remember, and the second is a pin they will receive on their mobile phone. The company rolled out this feature in 2013, and seemingly didn’t get everything right in one go.

Last year, the Twitter improved its security by giving users an option to get alerts when their accounts had been caught in suspicious log in. The company announced that users could add both a phone number and email address to get alerted whenever password reset requests are made.

For a service that is used by nearly 300 million users, it is shocking to see how easily its accounts are getting hacked on a daily basis. Security experts have been calling on Twitter for a very long time, asking it to improve its security and add measures such as sharply limit the log in attempts from a single IP address, and only allow one person to access a Twitter account at a given time.

The hacks not only cause panic among the victims, but also have the potential to affect the entire world. In April 2013, AP twitter account was hacked and the hackers posted the false injury of US president Barack Obama. The tweet alone resulted the stock market to crash down by $136 billion in value.

It’s not known if the company plans to do something about it. When we asked Twitter about this, a company spokesman offered this boilerplate statement. “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: January 17, 2015 11:42 AM IST
  • Updated Date: January 17, 2015 11:43 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Best Sellers