Update: Twitter turns ‘ON’ tweeting via SMS after temporary disablement

After discovering the feature being misused, Twitter disabled the user’s ability to tweet via text messages. According to an official Tweet by the microblogging service on Thursday, the feature was being turned off globally to safeguard their members and accounts.

Twitter also added that they were following this protocol due to the vulnerabilities found in their two-factor authentication system and were working on ways to enhance protection.

However, reports reveal that the decision was made after Twitter found hackers to be using the said method to tweet offensive messages from the account of its CEO Jack Dorsey.

Tweeting via text messages was an important feature of Twitter – somewhat of a legacy as now most users don’t rely on SMS messages. However, the feature still exists and in several parts of the world, users utilize this method to post their messages through the servers operated by their mobile carriers.

Unfortunately, the feature developed in Twitter’s infancy stage is gradually becoming a problem for many users especially in the case their phone is stolen, as mobile carriers don’t take proactive measures to secure cellular networks.

A similar scenario occurred with CEO Jack Dorsey last Friday. Once the hackers got hold of his phone number, they were able to send offensive tweets – without logging into his official Twitter account.

Twitter addressed the issue immediately and asserted that they are working on ‘advanced’ methods to protect the user’s account. However, they said that mobile carriers should also ensure enhanced protection method to prevent such misuse in the future.

Twitter also says to be working on ways to improve its two-factor authentication system that also relies on text messages and is at risk of ‘misuse’ in a similar manner.

After making necessary modifications, Twitter turned on the future for specific locations that relied on the mobile service to ‘tweet’ their thoughts. The announcement, made from their official account on the night of September 5 also stated that the service would remain ‘off’ for most parts of the world for some time.


Photo: Bloomberg / Gettyimages

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