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Twitter Temporarily Withdraws SMS Tweet Feature

October 23, 2019
Twitter Temporarily Withdraws SMS Tweet

No one seems safe in the digital era. Malicious hackers are on a prowl on any network, any moment. Even the oldest micro-blogging and social networking site Twitter suffered a security breach when the account of Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, got hacked for a short period of time in the month of August.

The hackers who identified themselves as Chuckling Squads posted series of vulgar and racist tweets on Dorsey’s account much to the embarrassment and harassment of the company and the founder. SIM swapping was the method used by the hackers to breach the network configuration of CEO’s account wherein they took command of the mobile number of Jack Dorsey.

Since, Dorsey’s account was put to stake for a brief stint followed by hacking of actor Chloë Grace Moretz’s account, Twitter announced pulling down curtain on SMS Tweet feature as of now. This was done with the intention to protect the Twitter accounts of millions of customers.

When hackers took control of Dorsey’s and Chloe’s accounts, there was hardly any technological remedy that could immediately get the problem resolved. The security oversight, on part of Twitter and mobile carrier service provider, required to be addressed with no delay and hence the decision of temporary closure was announced.

A Menace Called SIM Swapping

Tweet via SMS has been one of the oldest components/ features of a social media networking service provider which was launched in the year 2006. SMS Tweet is an interesting feature wherein a user can tweet messages via SMS through mobile handset. Automatically the SMS tweet gets featured on the profile of a Twitter account holder (even if there is no access to a computer).

In fact, this SMS tweet feature has contributed much to the popularity of this platform. It reigned in popularity till the time this unique feature suffered security setback.

Twitter began its journey as SMS-based platform which was used to share information and thoughts to friends/ contacts within 140 character limit (set by the mobile phone service provider). Gradually, the platform spread wings and started flourishing as a web platform. But the SMS feature remained because it had created a brand image for the organization.

SMS hackers are growing. They are taking recourse to a hacking tool called SIM Swapping or Sim jacking. The malicious people call up mobile service provider pretending to be a victimized individual who has lost his SIM. They request for SIM Swapping wherein the number and phone’s features and functions present on the SIM card of the original victim can be swapped. No wonder, cyber threats like SIM swapping are growing at a rampant pace where even the highest tech organizations face the brunt.

Good Hope for a Comeback

The only good news amidst setback was that hackers could neither disrupt Twitter operations nor could they access sensitive, confidential information present in Dorsey’s Direct Messages.

Nonetheless, Twitter is keen to review network security measures and take full-guard action for a disgraceful security breach attack, which raised many eyebrows on the organization’s technical supremacy and also on the credibility of mobile service providers.

Tweet via SMS has become such a common practice that it is hard for people to adjust to the temporary service closure. In coming days, Twitter is keen to make a comeback after sorting out the vulnerable security loopholes which led to the hacking of the account of a tech magnate and a celebrity. SMS tweet services will be reactivated only after identifying a reliable communication channel and finalizing a long-term security strategy.

Remain connected with Digital Marketing Lab (DML) for such interesting updates from the world of social media.