Twitter temporarily shuts down ability to tweet via SMS

Joanna Estrada
September 5, 2019

Twitter said Wednesday it is temporarily blocking users from tweeting via SMS or text message, citing mobile carriers' unaddressed security "vulnerabilities".

Among the hackers' tweet was a reference to "Chuckling Squad", the group purportedly behind the hacking of Dorsey's account last week in which several racist remarks were posted to his page. Engadget suggests that, because Twitter said its own systems weren't compromised in the Dorsey hack, that it was likely the hackers hijacked his SIM or spoofed his cell phone number somehow, and used a third-party app to tweet by text.

This type of attack targets a weakness in the use of "two-factor authentication" via text message to validate access to an account, a break-in method that has grown popular in recent years.

"We're taking this step because of vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by mobile carriers and our reliance on having a linked phone number for two-factor authentication (we're working on improving this)", Twitter Support wrote.

Some Twitter users send tweets via text message if they don't have smartphones.

It wasn't immediately clear how many of Twitter's users would be affected by the change.

Twitter said it would reactivate the feature "in markets that depend on SMS for reliable communication soon while we work on our longer-term strategy for this feature".

The company announced the suspension in a string of tweets on Wednesday afternoon, after the account of actress Chloe Grace Moretz was hacked and posted a spate of vulgar messages that have since been deleted.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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