A tweet in the official account of McDonald’s Corp. has called President Donald Trump a disgusting excuse for a president. The fast-food company is quick to cite a security breach.
Before McDonald’s deleted it, the tweet shaming Trump already made its rounds in the internet, getting shared and re-tweeted many times. The incident came a day after some top-tier officials as well as government agencies and media organizations had their Twitter accounts compromised.
Soft Target For Hackers
Twitter has always been an easy target for hackers, given the large size of its users and the ease at which tweets can be spread. Despite the platform’s two-layer security authentication feature, hackers can still get through and post damaging content.
“Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source,” McDonald’s announced in the wake of the incident.
This week, it wasn’t only McDonald’s that got played. Last Wednesday, March 15, accounts that included those of Justin Bieber, other celebrities, and groups such as Amnesty International tweeted out Nazi symbols and pro-Turkey messages in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Twitter hack spree did not seem to involve any phishing act and instead unleashed its propaganda using third-party service Twitter Counter.
The service has a sizable user base of more than 2 million users and monitors more than 350 million Twitter accounts, serving as a marketing channel for individuals and companies to manage their popularity on the social media network.
Shielding Your Twitter Account
As Twitter itself was not breached and recent account hijacks were made through third-party apps, it makes perfect sense to check which apps have access to your account. To do this:
1. Sign in to Twitter. Visit “Settings.”
2. Choose “Apps” in the left-hand menu from the next screen.
3. Check the applications page to find out what apps can access your account. Revoke as many apps as possible, including old ones or those you cannot recognize anymore.
It’s also a good time to update your password and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to prevent password attacks in the future.
With this security feature, you will get a six-digit code on your phone every time you log in from a new device or computer. This means that someone may have unauthorized access to your password, but they still won’t be able to tweet unless they have your phone.
Don’t be lazy: stop using the same password on every social network and every single website you use. A password manager comes in handy for better securing your online accounts.
There have been high-profile password breaches in recent years, which makes it for your reused passwords to be circulating somewhere. In addition, hacks affecting Yahoo, Cloudflare, and other websites and services may also have already released your password to other people.
Remember that it’s not only Fortune 1000 companies and famous personalities that are vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. Anyone with access to the internet and IoT devices can be a victim, making it necessary to protect one’s online accounts and gadgets.
Apart from using tools like 2FA, here are our other tips to lock out privacy intruders online.