Twitter warns of more hacks, threats to come; issues media memo

Twitter warns of more hacks, threats to come; issues media memo

Summary: The microblogging giant has warned news outlets that "these attacks will continue," particularly against high profile media organizations.

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TOPICS: Security
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Twitter knows that many high profile accounts have suffered at the hands of hackers in recent days, but is putting much of the onus of responsibility on the account holders themselves.

On Monday, Twitter sent a memo to major media and news outlets about the threat — if they hadn't known already or at least reported on some of them — and noted that it believed these "attacks will continue." (Buzzfeed posted the memo in full.)

Twitter acknowledged that the "incidents" appear to be "spear phishing attacks that target your corporate email," that appear to be legitimate emails and are often sent directly to the account holder. 

The memo also noted: "Don't use this computer to read email or surf the web, to reduce the chances of malware infection," and to "minimize the number of people that have access" to accounts to prevent human error.

The microblogging service is also working on two-factor authentication, a system in which users can strengthen their accounts by using a double-step method of logging in. Twitter has thus far remained quiet on the matter.

Dow-Jones-industrial-average
The AP's Twitter account was hacked, leading to a plunge in the Dow. (Image: Google Finance)

Over the past week, numerous CBS News accounts were hacked into, along with the Associated Press' accounts. The latter resulted in a fake tweet about an apparent explosion at the White House, which led to the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a flash plunge, dropping more than 100 points in a matter of seconds.  

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claimed responsibility for a number of the attacks. 

Topic: Security

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  • this is what happens

    1) when people treat social media as "news" and
    2) when a company doesn't take security seriously

    Two factor authentication obviously isn't a panacea, but I think it's sad that a company like Twitter can't even get that far.

    This is an old trick though, and will continue to be a problem as long as we remain a gullible society. Go short or long on a stock, leak a false rumor, clean up.
    frylock