Wow. All I can say is wow. The Associated Press had their Twitter account (@AP) hacked. Bah, another Twitter hack! Whatever. Right. That happens a lot these days.
But guess what? Their account was hacked, a fake tweet went out and, as a result, the Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA) plunged about 145 points (0.98 percent), hitting a low. Say what! How can a Twitter hack impact the stock market?
Well, The Associated Press is a respected source of news for many. Their account was hacked, and the perpetrators sent out a tweet announcing that the White House had been attacked. Specifically, it was some kind of explosion at the White House. This created uncertainty in the market and, thus, the market dipped. Now, none of this is true, of course, but the terror Tweet? That did happen. If the typical Twitter user sent out a tweet like this, nothing would happen. But when a trusted source such as The Associated Press sends one, it can have substantial repercussions. So, should they provide more security for accounts with higher value? Should they be treated with the same type of scrutiny and importance as other important assets? Like maybe CORPORATE BRAND, for example? Absolutely. But they’re not. It’s a simple username and password that protects many of these accounts. Social media is one of the most important channels that Fortune 500 companies, power utilities, police and government use to reach their audiences. Twitter IDs have been become extremely important. And a hack such as this demonstrates that they require security or, specifically, strong authentication to the same degree used in commercial or retail banking. Like I say to many, how can it be 2013 and we are still using usernames and passwords?