In a case of “Oh look, the horse is out, let’s go close the door to the barn,” Twitter is reportedly testing a two-password system to improve its less than secure system, as the social network deals with the aftermath of the hacking of the Associated Press’s Twitter account.
The hacked tweet sent the US stock market into a free fall, only to see it recover immediately after the hoax was revealed. AP’s Twitter account was suspended within minutes. The news service later said it was a victim of “phishing attempts on its corporate network”, which is the professional way of saying someone clicked a link in a scam email.
The Syrian Electronic Army, a branch of the Syrian armed forces, claimed responsibility for the attack. Similar attacks have been made on the social media accounts of other mainstream Western media outlets, the BBC among them. These organizations are seen as sympathetic to the Syrian rebels.
Twitter’s two-step authentication system will most likely be similar to the one used by Facebook and other networks. Using your account from a new device will not only require your password, but also a unique code that will be sent to your phone via text message.
Social networks need to look closely at security holes such as this. If tweets can cause the stock market to plunge, or panic the populace, it’s only a matter of time before the federal government begins to look closer at the industry and decide it needs to be regulated. And won’t that be a wonderful thing? <sarcasm OFF>