Double Bolt the Door: Twitter Announces New Security Methods After 250K Accounts Hacked

February 6, 2013  |  

Twitter is fighting back after being hit by hackers last week, announcing that it will boost its log in security. The social media network will introduce a “two-factor authentication” system, which it says will make it impossible for hackers to break into accounts — even if they have acquired the passwords.

The “2FA” system blocks access from new devices or Internet addresses, even when using the correct password, unless accompanied by a short numerical code that is sent separately to the account owner’s mobile phone, reports UK’s The Guardian newspaper. Google already offers this option for its Gmail accounts.

Under the 2FA systems, account owners are notified when attempts are made to hijack an account. If someone attempts to log in to the account from a new device, app, or unfamiliar location the two-factor authentication system will prevent the log in being approved. “A code will be sent to the registered user’s mobile phone, and only when that has been entered in the same log in page is access given to the account,” explains The Guardian.

Twitter had to reset the passwords on at least 250,000 accounts that were affected, after hackers broke into its systems. The hackers were suspected of accessing users’ data, including email addresses and encrypted passwords. Account holders were notified by email.

“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked,” Bob Lord, Twitter’s director of information security, wrote in the company’s blog (via The LA Times).

Will this make you feel safer?

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