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Twitter has disabled the ability to Tweet via SMS. This feature has been present since Twitter first launched, but a couple of high-profile hacks have led Twitter to disable it for the time being. The company IS planning to bring it back though.
Using SIM Swapping to Hack Jack Dorsey
In August, the account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was hacked. The hackers used Dorsey’s account to tweet a bomb threat, racial slurs, and other unsavory things. Then, Chloe Grace Moretz suffered a similar fate, with the same group claiming responsibility.
These hacks happened as a result of Twitter’s Tweet via SMS feature, which lets you tweet via text message. By utilizing a technique called SIM swapping, the hackers were able to post whatever they wanted to these accounts without knowing the logins.
Twitter Disables Its Tweet via SMS Feature
As a result of these hacks, Twitter has now disabled the Tweet via SMS feature. In a series of tweets, Twitter Support said this is necessary to “protect people’s accounts […] because of vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by mobile carriers”.
Twitter has made it clear that this is a temporary measure. The company is planning to reactivate Tweet via SMS in “markets that depend on SMS for reliable communication soon”. Which refers to countries with low adoption rates for smartphones.
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
The rest of the world may have to wait longer for the return of the Tweet via SMS feature. And there’s a chance it will never return. And to be fair, this is more of a legacy feature for anyone who owns a smartphone, who are obviously going to use the app instead.
How to Use Twitter
Twitter clearly thinks this is a necessary move to prevent more people becoming victims of this type of attack. And we suspect the fact that Twitter’s own CEO was targeted prompted the company to act fast to solve the problem, albeit temporarily.
If you have been using the Tweet via SMS feature to tweet then your options are limited. If you have a smartphone then just download the app. Or you can always visit Twitter.com instead. Either way, here’s our beginner’s guide explaining how to use Twitter.
Image Credit: Vintuitive/Flickr