TEMPO.CO, California - Twitter Inc launched a new technology to improve security for its users, following a series of attacks on prominent media outlets accounts namely Associated Press, Financial Times and The Onion. The micro blogging site with around 400 million messages a day said that it had begun setting out a "log-in verification" service to intercept hackers trying to hijack accounts with stolen passwords.
Internet security experts welcomed the measurement as a positive step to secure a service widely used by consumers, political activists, advertisers and news outlets around the world to exchange information.
Twitter had been under spotlight in the past year for failing to offer that option, known as two-factor authentication, whilst breaching took place to some high-profile accounts. The criticisms intensified in April after a hoax tweet regarding a White House explosion sent from Associated Press account and temporarily shook down U.S. financial market.
"It's a little late," said Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of White Hat Security. "It's not going to solve all problems, but it's one step towards the right direction."
When users log in to Twitter via a web browser, they firstly have to confirm their identity by entering a six-digit code that Twitter sends to users’ smartphones. To access the service through applications for PCs and smartphones, users have to use an automatically generated temporary password for each program.
The approach is similar to security tools previously introduced by other Internet services like Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp. "This will make it difficult for hackers to do their actions," said Jeffrey Carr, CEO of cyber security firm Taia Global Inc.
However, he added that hackers will still be able to do it if they manage to take control of PCs or Smartphone running applications authorized to use the service. "Two-factor authentication isn't perfect," Carr said. "If you own the machine, it really doesn't matter."
REUTERS | TRIP B