What makes Twitter so vulnerable?

Earlier this year, rumours surfaced that passwords of 32 million Twitter accounts had been sold on the dark web for 10 Bitcoins (approximately $6,000). Twitter denied any such wrongdoing, saying that all accounts were secure. That did little to assuage panicky users, as several of them scrambled frantically to change their passwords. Around the same time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter account was also hacked. So what makes Twitter so susceptible?


In fact, not much, according to security experts. In the case of the recent security breaches in India, including Rahul Gandhi, Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar, the intrusion happened through email accounts — Legion used them to reset passwords.


“It is important to notice all this happened through email. Twitter is as easy or as difficult to hack as anything else on the internet. So, Twitter does not really have a problem that way,” says Arora. Modi likes to describe Twitter as collateral damage in this case. “They were going after the emails and Twitter just happened.”


Moreover, Twitter is an obvious target for hackers as the platform is wildly popular. Through a Twitter account, hackers can reach out to a greater audience. “You get greater access to the public with Twitter. That could be the main reason,” says Modi.


Twitter, however, can add a feature to bolster its security. If a password reset request on Facebook or Gmail is made from a foreign IP address, then the user is asked certain personal questions — which doesn’t happen in the case of Twitter. “That is an additional feature that Facebook and Gmail have. But I don’t know if that would have made much of a difference,” says Jain. Twitter has maintained that security isn’t a problem.

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