Ex COO of Twitter, Ali Rowghani commented on the recent hacking of Twitter accounts as being more of an embarrassment to the company rather than being a threat to the company position. He elaborated that the hacking cut a sorry figure of the company and in no way stood for a collapse in its operations. He was talking with regard to the hacking of several high-profile accounts including Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey’s and celebrity star Chloe Moretz’s.
The hacking incidents which occurred in the previous week seemingly had the name of ‘Chuckling Squad’ associated with it in some way or the other. Dorsey’s account had bomb threats and racial insults posted whereas Moretz’s account witnessed posting of private message screenshots. Deletion of the tweets followed thereafter.
As a counter measure, Twitter suspended a feature which permitted posting of tweets by users through text messaging or SMS, for a temporary period. An announcement to that effect was made by the company as the feature according to Rowghani posed a hacking vulnerability.
One way of compromising Twitter accounts was by getting the phone number of the victim transferred on to a fresh SIM card with the connivance of the mobile provider. Hackers obtained password access by using their phone with the fresh SIM card transferred into it. Dorsey’s account was compromised in this manner; a security lapse on the part of the mobile provider.
Rowghani felt that suspension of the tweet-by-text feature would prevent such hacking issues. In any case, it definitely posed questions on the ways and means by which Twitter and others could obtain online security when their systems depended on services of third parties like mobile providers. There was a need for designing systems having minimum reliance on third parties, which however was not an easy thing to achieve, he said. The continuous clashes between security guys and hackers would never be eliminated he added.
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