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Twitter warns media outlets against hacks

Call for further internal security practices come after a number of organisations had their Twitter feeds hacked.

Last Modified: 30 Apr 2013 23:27
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Twitter says media outlets should use a dedicated computer to post to Twitter to reduce chances of a malware infection

Twitter issued a warning to media organisations to improve the security of their tweeting procedures following several high profile hacks in recent weeks.

In a memo sent to hundreds of media outlets and posted on the Buzzfeed.com website on Tuesday, the internet company said that the hacking incidents appeared to have stemmed from "spear phishing" attacks that masquerade as legitimate emails targeting the journalists running media organisations' Twitter accounts.

The advisory said that organisations should use a dedicated computer to post to Twitter to reduce the chances of a malware infection and should "minimize the number of people" with access to accounts to prevent human error.

"There have been several recent incidents of high-profile news and media Twitter handles being compromised. We believe that these attacks will continue, and that news and media organisations will continue to be high value targets to hackers," the memo stated.

Twitter advised users to use strong passwords at least 20 characters long to access the service and different passwords for their email accounts.

Twitter hit the headlines last week when the main feed of The Associated Press was hacked by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, and a bogus message was posted about an attack on the White House.

Organisations such as CBS, the BBC, The Guardian and football governing body FIFA have had their Twitter feeds hacked in recent weeks.

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