The big news in social media yesterday was the hacking of the AP’s twitter. A hacker group known as the Syrian Electronic Army is taking credit for hijacking the AP’s twitter account Tuesday morning and falsely tweeting that there was an explosion at the White House and the President was injured. Moments after the tweet, the Dow Jones flash crashed 143 points. Luckily the AP corrected their tweet quickly and the Dow was able to readjust without major incident. Even though there were no major repercussions from this hacked tweet, it is making everyone, from Wall Street to Twitter, rethink social media security.
Wall Street is surprisingly intertwined with social media. They have computer programs and algorithms that scan major news headlines and can auto-trade based on the news, this is how 1 tweet from a respected source can cause such an immediate threat to our economy. Twitter has become such an important factor on Wall Street that this month Bloomberg announced they will be adding the service to their trading terminals. This is HUGE news for Twitter, anyone familiar with Wall Street and trading knows, Bloomberg has such a gigantic influence on the industry that whatever service or practice they introduce becomes the standard.
It seems that there have been an increasing number of Twitter hacks of large brands recently. One of note was the Burger King hack back in February. Here is an infographic of the stats from that day:
Looking at these impressive stats, it is easy to see how much damage a hacked Twitter account can cause. In light of all these recent hacks, Twitter has announced they will be introducing a two-step verification system, which will help prevent fraud by requiring the user to input two pieces of personal information to verify their identity. With our increasing dependence on Twitter for the latest news, we feel that this new security measure is a must. If Twitter cannot remain a reliable source, there will be serious repercussions in the near future.
We have also included the below infographic on some of the more notable Twitter hacks in recent memory. Although this information is a bit dated, it is very interesting to see what 140 characters can do.