Another high-profile Twitter account was seized by hackers on Tuesday when a fake tweet claiming there had been explosions in the White House was sent out on the Associated Press account. The cyber attack, which wrested control of AP’s Twitter account, was immediately refuted by another AP account as bogus—but not before the Dow dropped 100 points following the troubling tweet.
It begs the question: why doesn’t Twitter have two-step verification? All this could go away forever. This isn’t the first major Twitter account to be hacked, but it’s certainly the biggest (to date). When a respected news organization sends out such terrifying news, the repercussions are felt far and wide. And with so many recent incidents of hacked Twitter accounts, you start to wonder if the accounts can be trusted at all—or Twitter as a whole. The service has become one of the largest platforms for thoughtful conversations and breaking news, but there’s an obvious issue of security.
Plenty of big services from Google, Facebook and Microsoft have already adopted two-factor authentication, so why not Twitter? After so many high-profile attacks, surely the company has to be working on implementing the heightened security measure. It hasn’t said either way. The Doe tumbling so quickly just how fast Twitter news travels—luckily things recovered in a matter of seconds.
The White House wasn’t bombed, and the President hasn’t been injured. But thanks to some nefarious individuals—the Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for today’s hack—the world briefly thought something very terrible had happened, all because of one simple sentence on the Internet.