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Burger King Twitter hack leaves firm in a pickle

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Many businesses now operate Twitter accounts, with good reason: it's a quick, personable and easy way to communicate with customers, announcing deals, running competitions and responding to questions and complaints.

However, there are many banana skins to watch out for when using Twitter for corporate purposes as incidents such as accidentally posting personal messages from the corporate account to inappropriate jokes and comments have shown

The latest firm to fall foul of Twitter-troubles is Burger King, which saw its account hacked and a stream of nonsense messages posted and its bio changed to profess a love for its arch(ed) rival McDonalds.

"We just got sold to McDonald's! Look for McDonald's in a hood near you," read one notable post.

Burger King then took down its account: "It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of the Burger King brand has been hacked," it said in a statement issued widely online.

"We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings."

It appears that Burger King has now re-established that control, as the Twitter account is Active again.

The issues underlines the importance of a strong password for any corporate accounts in case that was the cause of the hack but also calls into question Twitter's security policies after the firm was also hit by a hack itself that saw 250,000 user accounts compromised.

Many have called for the firm to introduce two-factor authentication to bolster its security credentials and ask the security community for help on finding more vulnerabilities in its platform.

"Twitter must roll out two-factor authentication in order to regain some level of trust and prove that its ecosystem is secure," said Sam Garrity, director of digital marketing agency, RocketMill.

"Twitter should follow in the footsteps of Facebook and Google in putting together competitions and reward schemes, allowing hackers to find vulnerabilities in its platform."

For now, though, until Twitter introduces such policies, it's clear that vigiliance and a strong password are your best forms of defence should any hackers come a-calling.

19 Feb 2013

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