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Anonymous hit in Twitter attack

Warwick Ashford

Hacking collective Anonymous is the latest victim in a series of Twitter account hacks that have hit a number of high-profile organisations such as Burger King and Jeep.

Hacktivist group Rustle League said it had hacked the @Anon_Central Twitter account, which has 160,000 followers.

Within a few hours of the group tweeting “@Anon_CentralNF this account has been hacked by @RustleLeague,” Anonymous regained control of the account, tweeting: “We’re back business!”

Security pundits have speculated that Anonymous, who has multiple Twitter accounts, is guilty of the common failing of using a weak password or a single password for multiple online accounts.

Earlier this week, Twitter director of information security Bob Lord called on account holders to use stronger passwords.

"Your password should be at least 10 characters that include upper and lower case characters, numbers and symbols," he said in a blog post.

“You should always use a unique password for each website you use; that way, if one account gets compromised, the rest are safe,” he added.

Other advice on security while using Twitter included checking the URL to ensure it is Twitter.com, exercising caution when clicking on links in Direct Messages, never sharing passwords, and keeping security patches up to date.

Security at Twitter has come under the spotlight after the company’s own systems were breached by hackers and several high-profile accounts have been taken over by hackers.

Hackers who took over the Burger King account in the past week claimed that the company had been sold to McDonalds while the account of Chrysler-owned Jeep tweeted about rival cars, the BBC said.

Burger King's twitter account was also used to tweet messages promoting rival McDonalds, while other posts contained racial slurs, obscenities and references to drugs.

Days after Twitter admitted the breach of its systems, it emerged the microblogging service planned to strengthen its login security with two-factor authentication.

The move is aimed at making it impossible for hackers to break into accounts, even if they obtain user passwords.


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