Twitter security to be tightened following hacks

Twitter has announced that it is introducing an optional two-step login to increase security.

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The move follows a number of high profile breaches, including attacks on the Financial Times and Associated Press, where one tweet from the hacked account claimed that President Obama had been injured.
Other breaches included one in February when 250,000 users had their passwords stolen in an attack.

Some notable attacks have been politically-motivated, including those by the allegedly pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army.

Twitter is to introduce the new two-factor authentication system to ensure the authenticity of users when they sign in. It will allow users to opt in to a two-step process requiring a verification code for each login.

Jim O'Leary, Head of Product Security, claims that the process will be simple: "You'll need a confirmed email address and a verified phone number. After a quick test to confirm that your phone can receive messages from Twitter, you're ready to go." A message containing a verification code will be sent to the account holder's mobile phone, that can be used to log in. Businesses in which several people tweet will need to find a way of sharing texts from a single mobile number to take advantage of the new system.

However, Mr O'Leary emphasised the importance of users also taking responsibility: "Of course, even with this new security option turned on, it's still important for you to use a strong password and follow the rest of our advice for keeping your account secure."

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