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As role of social media grows, can sites prevent hacking?

April 26, 2013

After the account of the Associated Press news service was hacked and an erroneous post triggered a stock market decline, Twitter says it will bolster its security, Bloomberg News reports. Hacks often involve password theft, and the micro-blogging social network will introduce a two-step authentication to make it harder for outsiders to gain access to an account: a password and a code sent to the user.

Twitter’s defenses were scrutinized this week after a hacker used the account of the Associated Press to send a false news report about explosions at the White House. The Federal Bureau of Investigation “is investigating the matter with the AP and Twitter,” an FBI spokesperson is quoted as saying. The hacking came the same month the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said companies can now use social media to share market-sensitive news.

Other news organizations and corporations have had their Twitter accounts hacked, including “60 Minutes,” Jeep and Burger King.

The AP hack follows a week when social media were seen by many as a positive force in helping spread information quickly after the Boston Marathon bombings. Some tweets fanned rumors but others were considered more reliable than traditional media, Bloomberg reports. — Greg Beaubien


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