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Twitter tightens security after recent hacking spate

Twitter tightens security after recent hacking spate

Micro-blogging site Twitter says it is bringing in an optional two-step login for users to beef up security following recent high-profile breaches.

The company said it would introduce the new system "to make sure it's really you" when a user signs in.

Recent attacks broke into news organisations' accounts, such as the Financial Times and the newswire service the Associated Press (AP).

One tweet sent from AP's hacked account said President Obama had been injured.

Some attacks have come from political organisations, notably the Syrian Electronic Army, which appears to act in support of President Assad's government.

It claimed credit for hacking several news organisations, including AP.

Two-step
Twitter product security head Jim O'Leary said that despite the new security plans, users should start out with a strong password:

"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."

Twitter said the new system would allow users to opt in to a two-step system that would require a verification code for each sign-in.

Mr O'Leary said this would be simple: "You'll need a confirmed email address and a verified phone number. After a quick test to confirm that your phone can receive messages from Twitter, you're ready to go."

A message would then be sent to the account holder's mobile phone with a verification code to login with.

Other security breaches suffered by Twitter included one in February, when 250,000 users had their passwords stolen in an attack.

News organisations including the BBC were warned by Twitter last month to tighten security in the wake of the high-profile hacks, one of which got into the BBC's weather feed.

(Agencies)

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