Twitter Officially Turned Off Text Messaging-Based Tweeting In Most Countries Due To Security Concerns

  • Twitter announced that it has turned off text messaging-based tweeting as it found vulnerabilities in its SMS-based services.
  • Users will still be able to use text message-based password verification and two factors authentication.
  • Twitter once temporarily turned off SMS-based tweeting when Jack Dorsey’s account got hacked.
  • Twitter accidentally used phone number and email address provided by users for account security for ad targeting in 2019.

On Monday, Twitter support team announced that the company is turning off its service via text messaging due to users’ accounts security concerns. SMS-based tweeting allowed Twitter users to tweet from their accounts via text messages. The users have been using the service from Twitter’s early beginnings.

Twitter’s official support account posted a tweet stating that the company wants to keep users’ accounts safe from possible hacker’s attacks. The tweet also said that the company found some vulnerabilities with text messaging, so the company has turned off SMS-based tweeting services in most countries.

However, the tweet added that Twitter users will still be able to use Twitter via text messaging service for “important text messages,” such as logging in to their twitter accounts and managing their accounts. The company advised those users using Twitter via text messages to transition to twitter’s web platform or the smartphone app. Twitter said that the users would be able to enjoy the full experience of their platform services by using Twitter on desktop or smartphone.

Currently, the company has decided not to turn off text messaging-based Twitter services related to account security of users such as password verification and two factors authentication. Previously, Twitter temporarily turned off the SMS-based tweeting between Sep 4 and Sep 5, 2019, when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s official Twitter account hacked by the attackers. The company turned off the user’s ability to use Twitter via SMS messages to protect their account.

Twitter stated that the company has now turned SMS-based tweeting on for a few countries, which depend on SMS messages to Tweet while the feature will remain turned off for the rest of the countries across the globe. Vice President Global Communication at Twitter, Brandon Borrman, tweeted at that time that the mobile number associated with a Twitter account was compromised because of a security oversight from the mobile phone provider. This security oversight helped the hackers to compose and send tweets via text messages using Jack Dorsey’s mobile number.

During February, the company also discovered an issue exploited by hackers. The hackers used a vast network of fake accounts to match a mobile number to its corresponding Twitter account. Twitter fixed the problem during February.

The company also revealed during Oct 2019 that for some users, Twitter might have accidentally used their mobile numbers and email addresses for ad targeting, which they provided for account security purposes such as two-factor authentication.

Twitter at that time said that the platform never shared any personal data of its users externally with the company’s partners or any third party. The company also stated that as of Sep 17, Twitter had resolved the issue, and users’ data collected for account security will not be used for advertising.

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