April 24, 2013
A recent Twitter hack showed just how vulnerable life online can be. Zach Miners of IDG News Service wrote that the attack on the Associated Press' Twitter account could be a tipping point to get companies to improve their security, as it sent shockwaves across the internet and even caused a sharp, yet brief, dip in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Events like this provide a powerful motivation to evaluate the social media, web, identity, network and email security practices in place which could have preemptively blocked the attacker responsible for this hack.
"Wider use of two-factor authentication, which can involve an access code being sent to a user on a second device such as a smartphone, is one possible solution," Miners said. "Such a mechanism could be introduced selectively, some experts said, for high profile accounts such as celebrities and large corporations."
The tweet in question was not a friendly or funny one. The tweet said at 1 p.m. ET "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured." The AP account representative quickly came online and corrected the tweet, stating this was bogus and the result of hacking.
AP joins the long list of companies that have experienced breaches, and must deal with the resulting aftermath. These hacking incidents showcase the need for companies to be more careful with not only their social media pages but email and other aspects of cybersecurity. Attacks like this typically start with an email, either via phishing or hidden malware, many of which can be prevented with email security solutions.