Twitter has announced that it’s temporarily turning off the ability to Tweet via SMS, to protect people’s accounts from vulnerabilities with mobile carriers.
In case you missed it, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked last week. Hackers were able to use a SIM swap attack to give them access to his phone number, and by doing so they were then able to tweet out racial slurs via SMS.
While Dorsey got his account back, he now admits he still doesn’t have a phone number as a result of the hack. In response to this hack, Twitter is now temporarily disabling the ability to send tweets via SMS.
In an announcement earlier this week, the company explained that this was to protect people’s accounts:
We’re temporarily turning off the ability to Tweet via SMS, or text message, to protect people’s accounts.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 4, 2019
However, the other reason is “because of vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by mobile carriers.” Part of the problem is the “reliance on having a linked phone number for two-factor authentication.”
Twitter now promises it’s now “working on improving this.”
It’s not clear how long the feature will be disabled, but Twitter did say that it’s working to reactivate it “in markets that depend on SMS for reliable communication soon.” The company is also working on a more long-term strategy to deal with the problem.
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