Going a week without a major brand having its Twitter account compromised was starting to become a rare occurrence. Critics and users alike repeatedly called upon Twitter to release two-factor (or step) authentication. The added layer of security requires you to enter your password, and then a subsequent six-digit access anytime you try to log into Twitter. The short code is sent via text message to your cell phone, which means that any would-be hackers would need to not only crack your password, but to also have physical possession of your cell phone.
When it comes to parody news site the Onion, it's hard to tell if anything it publishes is real. So, after the site's Twitter feed had several tweets on Monday saying "The Syrian Electronic Army Was Here" and other similar messages, few people batted an eyelash.
However, both the Syrian Electronic Army and the Onion have confirmed that indeed the site's Twitter account was hacked, according to The New York Times.
Twitter knows that many high-profile accounts have suffered at the hands of hackers in recent days, but is putting much of the onus of responsibility on the account holders themselves.
On Monday, Twitter sent a memo to major media and news outlets about the threat -- if they hadn't known already or at least reported on some of them -- and noted that it believed these "attacks will continue." (Buzzfeed posted the memo in full.)
American media suffered another black eye Tuesday afternoon when U.S. stock markets briefly went into a tailspin after the Associated Press's Twitter account was hijacked and used to broadcast this false message: "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."
CBS confirmed that three of its Twitter accounts, including that of popular show 60 Minutes, were hacked.
It is largely believed that the accounts were compromised by Syrian Electronic Army, though they haven’t been officially named as the perpetrators. Some of the tweets sent out from these accounts do point at Syrians, take for example this tweet posted on 60 Minutes account saying: The Syrian army’s fight is your fight. The Syrian army fights for all humanity. The Syrian Electronic Army has previously, reportedly, compromised Twitter accounts of NPR, Reuters and BBC.