Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

2/4/2020
11:25 AM
50%
50%

Twitter Suspends Fake Accounts Abusing Feature that Matches Phone Numbers and Users

The company believes state-sponsored actors may also be involved.

Twitter has disclosed a security incident in which third parties exploited its API to match phone numbers with user accounts. The company has identified and suspended a large network of fake accounts related to the incident and believes state-sponsored actors may also be involved.

The problem came to Twitter's attention on Dec. 24, 2019, when it learned someone was using a network of fake accounts to match usernames with phone numbers – a legitimate feature that, if enabled, helps users find each other on the platform. A security researcher was able to exploit a flaw in Twitter's Android app to match 17 million phone numbers with user accounts.

Following this report, Twitter launched an investigation and discovered more accounts outside the researchers' findings that may have been exploiting the same official API endpoint beyond its intended function. The company identified accounts "located in a wide range of countries" with a high volume of requests coming from individual IP addresses in Iran, Israel, and Malaysia.

"It is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors," Twitter said in a statement. "We are disclosing this out of an abundance of caution and as a matter of principle." Changes were made to the endpoint so it no longer returns specific account names in response to queries. Accounts believed to have been exploiting the endpoint are suspended.

Twitter account holders who disabled the option for "Let people who have your phone number find you on Twitter" are not exposed to the vulnerability; neither are those who don't have a phone number linked to their account.

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "C-Level & Studying for the CISSP."

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/27/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13643
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An issue was discovered in the SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin before 2.10.16 for WordPress. The live editor feature did not do any nonce verification, allowing for requests to be forged on behalf of an administrator. The live_editor_panels_data $_POST variable allows for malicious JavaScript to be e...
CVE-2020-13644
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An issue was discovered in the Accordion plugin before 2.2.9 for WordPress. The unprotected AJAX wp_ajax_accordions_ajax_import_json action allowed any authenticated user with Subscriber or higher permissions the ability to import a new accordion and inject malicious JavaScript as part of the accord...
CVE-2020-13641
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An issue was discovered in the Real-Time Find and Replace plugin before 4.0.2 for WordPress. The far_options_page function did not do any nonce verification, allowing for requests to be forged on behalf of an administrator. The find and replace rules could be updated with malicious JavaScript, allow...
CVE-2020-13642
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An issue was discovered in the SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin before 2.10.16 for WordPress. The action_builder_content function did not do any nonce verification, allowing for requests to be forged on behalf of an administrator. The panels_data $_POST variable allows for malicious JavaScript to be e...
CVE-2020-8603
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
A cross-site scripting vulnerability (XSS) in Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 6.5 may allow a remote attacker to tamper with the web interface of affected installations. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or ...