Twitter Flirting With Security Disaster?

The year 2011 has been called ‘The Year Of The Hacker’ by many, and we can see why. Numerous major corporations’ websites and networks have been hacked by wave after wave of hackers and hacking groups.It would, therefore, be safe to assume that websites around the world would be working night and day to ensure they cannot be hacked and have the best security possible.


The insanely popular micro-blogging site, Twitter, however, doesn’t seem to be taking their security as seriously as one would expect. On USA’s Independence Day, i.e 4th of July, the Twitter account of Fox News was hacked. The hacker had complete control of what to tweet. What was especially worrying is the account had a ‘Verified’ sign on it so people would take whatever they wrote seriously. And they went in for the kill. They spread rumors that the American President, Barack Obama had been asassinated.

What is especially worrying is that Twitter took over 5 hours to restore control of the account back to Fox News. “What Twitter needs to do now is to commit to a thorough review of their security practices,” said Daniel Diermeier, a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “For Twitter this is a very serious problem“.

According to security experts, if Twitter offered an authentication called Two Factor authentication, this would never have happened.  Other sites like Facebook and Google already offer this. Twitter could be pressured into doing this too, as a lot of influential leaders, business tycoons and companies use Twitter.

Twitter Spokeswoman Lynn Fox declined to say whether the company intended to add two-factor authentication. The company has said in a blog that it hopes to make https encryption the default for all users. “We take security very seriously and we’re always looking for ways to help users make their accounts more secure,” she said. Yet she added that Twitter’s users are responsible for securing their own passwords. “We can’t anticipate compromises that occur offsite,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons we very clearly recommend to users that they be extremely careful with the security of their passwords.”

What do you think? Is it high time Twitter upped its ante or do we let them do things their way?

One Response to “Twitter Flirting With Security Disaster?”

  1. July 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    nice and informative post .. keep it up

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