recommended reading

How Twitter Accounts—Like the AP’s—Get Hacked

Shutterstock.com file photo

The Twitter account belonging to the Associated Press was just hacked and used to tweet that there were explosions at the White House. Markets immediately reacted accordingly, with the Dow dropping 144 points before recovering in minutes, demonstrating the power that such hacks have.

While the people who run the AP’s social media accounts are surely reviewing their security procedures even now, it’s worth pointing out that defending against such attacks is relatively simple. Twitter’s official page on what to do when an account is compromised has a helpful section on the subject, which cites everything from computer viruses to handing out your Twitter credentials to malicious websites as sources of Twitter hacks.

But the truth is, across all password-protected sites on the web, the mostly likely way for an account to be compromised is simply bad password hygiene, aka password re-use. When hackers compromise a site with weak security, they get their hands on huge databases of password and email address pairs. Then, when they want to attack a site with good security, like Twitter, they simply try out passwords gained in the previous attack. It works because the passwords are often the same across sites—i.e., humans are lazy.

Read more at Quartz.

Threatwatch Alert

Social Media Takeover

Qatar News Agency Says Hackers Published Fake Stories

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.