This week's hack of The Associated Press' Twitter account rocked Wall
Street and may force execs at the private San Francisco-based social media
darling to address online security issues before another major embarrassment
While no security system is foolproof, experts say Twitter could begin by introducing a two-step authentication process to avoid a repeat of Tuesday's tweet, which claimed that two bombs had exploded at the White House, injuring President Obama.
The tweet sent the stock market tumbling 150 points before the White House reassured the nation that it was a hoax. But it wasn't the first time a news organization's Twitter account had been compromised.
Days before the AP incident, CBS' "60 Minutes" account also was targeted by hackers, another instance that might have been avoided had Twitter implemented the kind of two-step authentication that Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple already offer.
In addition to typing in your username and password to get access to your account, those systems typically also require you to enter another piece of information, such as a PIN that's sent to you in a text message.
"I wouldn't necessarily use this method to launch nuclear weapons, but it makes me feel pretty close to perfectly safe," said Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, a global computer-security firm. "It's a minor inconvenience for peace of mind."
Even a flawless security system, however, doesn't guard against the perils of bad reporting, said David Gerzof Richard, president of BIGfish Communications and professor of social media and marketing at Emerson College.
"If the tweets they're sending out are incorrect," he said, referring to some overanxious reporting in the days following the Marathon bombings, "then a two-step authentication doesn't do much good."
(c)2013 Boston Herald
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- Americans Still Pessimistic Despite Economic Growth
- Apple to Unveil New Items on Sept. 9
- Friends Followed Similar Paths to Violent Jihad
- Axxis Solutions Appoints Benites as CEO
- Obama Puts Ukraine Violence on Russia
- Janet Yellen's Assets Grew by 8 Percent in 2013
- Hillary Clinton Breaks Silence on Ferguson
- California Moves Toward Ban on Plastic Bags
- Petit Retires 46 Batters in a Row, MLB Record
- Identity Thieves Prey on Job Seekers