After reports that famous people’s accounts were hacked, including their own CEO’s, Twitter is now temporarily suspending their tweet via SMS feature. The official statement is of course that they are working on a solution for this but as they don’t have one yet, the net best thing would be to protect their users by doing this. They also have yet to provide a detailed explanation of what happened except to say that they will eventually restore SMS tweeting in regions that need it.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was one of the victims of a “security oversight” which allowed people to be able to send tweets through SMS via his number. Twitter has not clarified if this was the case of SMS hijacking or a spoofing attempt or something else. Actress Chloe Moretz was another famous personality victimised by a group of hackers who may or may not have been involved in the Dorsey hack as well.
So as a failsafe while they’re still working on detecting the vulnerabilities within the app, they have decided to temporarily suspend tweeting through SMS. This is a pretty bold move since this has been a “core element” especially when people decided they much prefer doing that than to post tweets from mobile apps or websites. Now those who have gotten used to SMS-based tweeting have to go back to old school style.
There is no quick fix to a problem like this and at least suspending tweeting via SMS allows them to work on a solution. They will also be tackling their “reliance on linked phone numbers for two-facto authentication” while they try to get carriers to address the vulnerabilities within their own systems.
Twitter said they’ll eventually bring the feature back to regions that are dependent on it for “reliable commutation” but they did not specify which regions those are. Let’s wait for their long term solution and if SMS-based tweeting will ever become reliable again.