Feeds

Oi, journos. Try NOT to get hacked again. Lots of love, Twitter

Hackers have painted a bullseye on hacks' heads, chat site warns

The Power of One Infographic

Twitter has warned news agencies that hackers could strike again unless journalists take basic precautions - like using a decent password.

The micro-blogging site wrote to a number of news outlets warning that hackers consider them "high value" targets.

Their note of caution comes as the Syrian Electronic Army continued their online assault by hacking into Twitter accounts owned by the Guardian.

The infiltration follows the dramatic hacking of the Associated Press' Twitter account by the same group, which the hackers used to send a fake tweet claiming President Obama was injured in a bomb attack. Traders on the Dow Jones stock market panicked, apparently as a result of the tweet, and sent the index plummeting by 143 points.

Twitter's letter to news organisations said:

Please help us keep your accounts secure. There have been several recent incidents of high-profile news and media Twitter handles being compromised. We believe that these attacks will continue, and that news and media organizations will continue to be high value targets to hackers.

The briefing note claimed the hacking incidents were spear phishing attacks, which target corporate email.

Twitter's security bods suggested setting passwords and never sending them by email. One hard to remember password Twitter could be a nonsense word like "LauH6maicaza1Neez3zi" or a random string of words like "hewn cloths titles yachts refine". According to Twitter, "Very difficult passwords will discourage memorization, which will greatly reduce the chances of being phished".

Journalists should designate one computer for Twitter use to avoid spreading the password around, according to the letter. This computer should NOT be used to surf the web or do anything but tweet, which definitely overestimates the IT resources available to most news outlets in the digital age.

The number of people given access to key Twitter accounts should be kept to a minimum, Twitter advises.

The email continued: "Strong security practices will reduce your vulnerability to phishing."

There's no word on whether these security suggestions might limit journos' ability to actually use their computers or send tweets - two things Twitter might like to encourage. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.