Data Protection

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, 2013 (AFP) – Twitter said Wednesday it was stepping up security measures for the popular messaging service following a series of high-profile breaches by hackers hitting media organizations and others. Earlier this month, the Twitter feed of satirical US news website The Onion was also taken over by the Syrian group aiming to inject its own sardonic spin on the deadly conflict.

The Onion posted details of how its feed was hijacked, describing how emails were sent to some employees in a phishing spoof to gain access to passwords. Twitter said it would implement a new login verification system, “a form of two-factor authentication” which is “a second check to make sure it’s really you” when a user signs in.

“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,” said Jim O’Leary of Twitter Product Security.

Some recent attacks took over Twitter feeds and delivered fake tweets using the accounts of Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, Financial Times and other news organizations.

Last month, hackers spooked markets after breaking into the AP Twitter account