wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Twitter suspends fake accounts linked to Iran, Israel and Malaysia


Twitter suspended an unspecified number of fake accounts that were exploiting its API to match usernames to phone numbers. A “particularly high volume” of such requests came from IP addresses in Iran, Israel and Malaysia. The company further claimed that some of these IP addresses may be linked to state-sponsored actors.

But doesn’t Twitter offer that feature already? Yes, Twitter allows users to link their phone numbers to their accounts, and separately allows them to be searched by it. In this case, the API was exploited “beyond its intended use case”. People who did not opt in to this service were not exposed by this vulnerability.

What has Twitter done? Apart from suspending the fake accounts and any other accounts exploiting this vulnerability, it changed the API so that it “could no longer return specific account names in response to queries”.

When did Twitter learn about it? The company learnt about it on December 24. In December, TechCrunch had reported about this flaw through which a security researcher was able to match 17 million phone numbers to Twitter user accounts by exploiting a flaw in Twitter’s Android app.

Why is this a problem? As the security researcher had found in December, this API allowed users “to upload entire lists of generated phone numbers” in a randomised manner. This could have resulted in a huge data harvesting operation. TechCrunch had reported that they were able to identify a senior Israeli politician using their matched phone number.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

Send me tips at aditi@medianama.com. Email for Signal/WhatsApp.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.


The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ