Twitter will make key U.S. political accounts adopt tighter account security

(Photo: Unsplash/Sara Kurfess)

Sept 17 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which was recently targeted in a hacking campaign that compromised the accounts of prominent political figures and celebrities, said on Thursday it was implementing more security measures for certain election-related accounts in the United States.

By Elizabeth Culliford


Accounts belonging to the U.S. executive branch, Congress, presidential campaigns and political parties are among those which Twitter said in a blog post it would require to take security measures “given the unique sensitivities of the election period.”

The accounts will be required to use a strong password, Twitter will enable by default a setting that helps prevent unauthorized password changes and the users will be strongly encouraged to enable two-factor authentication.

In July, hackers were able to access Twitter’s internal systems and seize control of accounts, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former U.S. President Barack Obama, and solicit digital currency. Twitter has said its employees were duped into sharing account credentials.

Lawmakers have expressed concerns over what would happen if a similar breach occurred a day before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.

After the hack, the White House said it had been in constant contact with Twitter to ensure the security of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which was not jeopardized in the hack.

Other types of accounts for which Twitter is requiring or recommending these security measures include those belonging to members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. governors and secretaries of state, political candidates that have Twitter’s “Election Labels” and some major U.S. news outlets and political journalists.

Twitter said that in the coming weeks it would put in place other internal security safeguards for the accounts, including better detections to help the company and account holders respond quickly to suspicious activity and increased login defenses to prevent malicious account takeover attempts. (Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford Editing by Chris Reese)


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