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James Perrin

Does Twitter have Security Issues? Recent Hacks Raise Concerns

4th Jul 2011 News, Industry News, Social Media, Social Media, Twitter 2 minutes to read

TwitterThis morning hackers accessed Fox News’ Twitter Account and announced to the world that the U.S. President, Barack Obama, had been shot dead. Worryingly, this came from a verified account. It’s another example in a long list of high profile hacks on Twitter.

Last week, British actor Simon Pegg admitted that his Twitter account had also been hacked. A link was posted to download a screensaver from his recent movie, ‘Paul’, which was actually in fact a login-stealing malware virus. So, two hacks in two weeks, is this the start of something major?

Twitter Hack Claims Obama Assassination

4th July, Independence Day, a major U.S. holiday that is held so dearly amongst its citizens, well almost all of their citizens. Unfortunately for some, today presented an opportunity to inflict horror and fear, aimed purposely at disrupting the celebrations.

According to reports, the hackers took over the US broadcaster Fox News’ Twitter account and released to the online community that the U.S. President Barack Obama had been shot dead whilst campaigning in Iowa. Worryingly, this wasn’t an unofficial account that had been set up in Fox News Politics’ name, but rather the genuine verified account of Fox News Politics.

The Tweets read as:

‘The Script Kiddies’ were claiming responsibility for the hack as they revealed on Fox’s Twitter feed:

This isn’t the first time that Fox have been hacked, as their website was hit only a few months ago by LulzSec, the same group who supposedly hacked their way into the UK census last month [See: UK Census, LulzSec and Dropbox: A Bad Day for Online Security].

Malware Publishers Hijack Simon Pegg’s Twitter Account

Likewise, this isn’t the first time a Twitter account has been hacked into either. As mentioned, last week saw Simon Pegg’s account hacked into and a nasty malware virus spread to his many followers who decided to click and install the ‘Paul Screensaver’.

The initial Tweet Read:

Why are these accounts getting hacked into? Well for Fox News, their conservative stance has come under huge criticism with many Americans, and so this can be a possible reason behind its hacking. However, regardless of why any of these accounts had be hacked, the central question should be, does Twitter have security issues?

For one of the top social networks online, it’s disconcerting at the ease of which accounts can be hacked into. As the network gets bigger, more eyes are on them, more information is being shared and more people want to get their hands on it. It fits with a perturbing trend that has seen many supposedly ‘secure’ networks hacked into recently. For example, Sony, Google, UK Census and a plethora of more case studies.

Can we assume that Twitter is just another network that has felt the effects of a weak internet security system? Clearly, security has been compromised, something that has to be addressed by all major companies that have been affected. Will they take this seriously? Well they better had because users will be particularly on edge. The customer is always right and users will act with a simple click of a button if they’re not satisfied with their security requirements. It’s time for Twitter to get this right.

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