Report: Twitter Testing Two-Factor Authentication

A high-profile hack on the AP Twitter feed is prompting a closer look at security.

Wired is reporting that Twitter is working on a two-factor authentication system and plans to roll it out to users soon. The need for such a system was underscored by the recent hack of the AP Twitter feed that resulted in a sharp drop in stock prices.

Wired's Mat Honan reported, "Twitter has a working two-step security solution undergoing internal testing before incrementally rolling it out to users, something it hopes to begin doing shortly, Wired has learned. Such a system will drastically reduce the risk of Twitter users having their accounts hacked, something that has been experienced by everyday users and major companies like the Associated Press, the BBC and 60 Minutes. Two-step (also known as two-factor or multifactor) authentication can prevent a hacker from gaining access to an account far more effectively than a password alone."

PCWorld quoted security expert Andrew Storms, who said, "Twitter needs to get on board and make two-factor authentication available ... as fast as possible."

The Washington's Post's Dina ElBoghdady noted, "A fake tweet about an attack on the White House briefly roiled the financial markets on Tuesday afternoon, sending stocks tumbling within minutes and prompting the FBI and securities regulators to look into the hacking incident. A posting on the Twitter account of the Associated Press reported explosions at the White House that injured President Obama. Almost immediately, the stock market fell sharply, but it rebounded just as quickly when it became clear that the message was bogus."

ZDNet's Liam Tung added, "Twitter reset over 250,000 passwords to user accounts in early February after noticing unusual access patterns and recently posted a job vacancy for a security engineer to develop user-facing multi-factor authentication. Other companies that have already introduced multi-factor authentication in the past few years include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Blizzard's Battle.Net, and Valve's Steam."

Tags: Twitter, social media, hacking, two-factor authentication

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