Twitter is addressing a potential vulnerability that has been abused by some hackers in the last week, and the company announced on Wednesday that it is temporarily shutting off the ability to tweet via SMS.
The move to shut off this feature comes following the news of another hack of a high-profile account — the same hackers who broke into CEO Jack Dorsey's account and tweeted some racist and offensive things also broke into the account of actress Chloe Grace Moretz today. Engadget suggests that, because Twitter said its own systems weren't compromised in the Dorsey hack, that it was likely the hackers hijacked his SIM or spoofed his cell phone number somehow, and used a third-party app to tweet by text. "That doesn't necessarily mean Moretz fell victim to the same method," they write, "but brute force password cracks aren't as likely in an era when two-factor authentication is relatively commonplace.
Fast-forward a couple hours, and here's the tweet from Twitter Support:
We’ll reactivate this in markets that depend on SMS for reliable communication soon while we work on our longer-term strategy for this feature.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 4, 2019
Regardless, as Engadget puts it, "this isn't a great look" for Twitter, especially given the fact that hackers got into Dorsey's account before, three years ago.
The latest round of tweets included a potentially embarrassing posting of a DM conversation that Moretz had with rapper Joey Badass (via Badass's own account), as well as a message claiming that the hackers had Dorsey's social security number.
The hackers, who identified themselves last week as "Chuckling Squad," used Dorsey's account to post tweets praising Hitler, and suggesting a potential bomb threat at Twitter headquarters.
Additionally, internet make-up tutorial celebrity James Charles saw his account hacked last week, with the hackers threatening to post a nude photo of him — Charles responded by posting the relatively tame photo himself, saying it was the only nude he'd ever taken. And YouTube star Shane Dawson was also hacked, likely by the same crew.