Twitter Ups Security to Prevent Further Hacking

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Following a spate of high-profile security breaches, Twitter has introduced an optional two-step login for users in an attempt to combat further attacks which it said has cleared the way for tougher security measures in the future.

The social media website said users will be asked to register a phone number, which will be verified, and confirm their email address in an effort to prevent accounts being compromised by "phishing schemes or a breach of password data."

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The tougher security measures come a month after news agency Associated Press' account was hacked and the subsequent tweet briefly erased $200 billion off U.S. stock markets.

Jim O'Leary of Twitter's product security team said that even with the new security option, strong passwords were important.

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"Every day, a growing number of people log in to Twitter. Usually these login attempts come from the genuine account owners, but we occasionally hear from people whose accounts have been compromised by email phishing schemes or a breach of password data elsewhere on the web," he said in a blog post on Wednesday.

"Much of the server-side engineering work required to ship this feature has cleared the way for us to deliver more account security enhancements in the future. Stay tuned," he added.

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The Financial Times' tech blog and a number of the newspaper's twitter accounts were hacked earlier this month by a group that called itself the Syrian Electronic Army. Two tweets were published - one which said "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here" and another that included a link to a YouTube video which appeared to show several bound and blindfolded individuals being executed. Both messages were quickly removed.

The Syrian group described itself as "a group of enthusiastic Syrian youths" who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave; Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave.