Twitter Boosts Account Security for US Election Hopefuls
Twitter has announced new measures designed to improve the security of certain high-profile accounts ahead of the upcoming US elections in November.
The social media firm said that chosen accounts would receive in-app notifications requiring or “strongly recommending” the new measures.
Accounts will be required to use a strong password, with those currently on weak log-ins prompted to change their credentials next time they use the app.
Twitter is also enabling “password reset protection” by default: this reduces the chances of unauthorized password changes by requiring the legitimate account holder to confirm their email address or telephone number before making changes.
Finally, the firm is strongly encouraging selected account holders to switch on two-factor authentication, to provide an extra layer of security against unauthorized log-ins.
Designated accounts will include those of the executive branch and Congress, governors and secretaries of state, US news outlets and political journalists, and “Presidential campaigns, political parties and candidates with Twitter election labels running for US House, US Senate or governor.”
In the future, Twitter claimed it would be rolling out: “more sophisticated detections and alerts” to help it respond more quickly to suspicious activity, increased defenses against malicious account takeover and expedited account recovery support.
The news comes just weeks after multiple high-profile accounts including those of Barack Obama and Presidential candidate Joe Biden were hijacked following a social engineering attack on Twitter staff.
Two teens and a man in his early twenties were subsequently arrested and slapped with charges related to the cryptocurrency scam.
Earlier this month, the Chinese government decried as “abominable” an apparent account hijacking attack on UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming’s account.
Although no group has subsequently claimed responsibility for the incident, the account “liked” comments critical of Beijing and one that appeared to contain pornographic content.
Microsoft claimed recently that state-sponsored hackers from China, Iran and Russia have been probing Trump and Biden campaigns for geopolitically useful information.