Feeds

Twitter SMS spoofing still undead

Micro-blogging body-snatching risk

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A fix against an SMS spoofing flaw involving micro-blogging service Twitter offers only partial protection.

Tests by Heise Security found that providing a user knew the number of a phone associated with a Twitter account, it would be possible to use an SMS sender faking service to post fake status updates that appeared under a user's profile. Services such as PhonyText allow the relaying of SMS messages with a fake sender field. Spoofed SMS messages sent through this service to the number for sending SMS tweets could thus be used to create fake tweets.

In this way, providing you knew the mobile number associated with accounts, it might be possible to suggest that Stephen Fry was once again stuck in a lift instead of whale-watching off the coast of Mexico or that Britney's vagina had grown claws as well as teeth. It might be even possible to claim something even more ridiculous, for example that Arsene Wenger had agreed to manage Manchester City next season.

Many Twitter instructions beyond simple status updates are possible via text message. This makes it potentially possible to alter account settings via text, creating a possible means to sign people onto premium rate text services, the Washington Post's Security Fix blog reports.

According to Security Fix, Twitter fixed the authentication flaw on Wednesday. However, Heise Security's tests show that the fix is, as yet, incomplete.

US-based mobile carriers have deployed measures in place to prevent SMS spoofing so that the issue involves Twitter gateways outside the US. Faked messages involving US numbers sent through these gateways may still pose a problem. Twitter users are advised to use the SMS PIN option to tamper-proof their text message tweets.

Security researcher Lance James identified the latest vulnerability involving Twitter and SMS spoofing, but the attack vector is not new. Security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani pinpointed a very similar threat to Twitter involving SMS spoofing in April 2007, at which point Twitter introduced PIN protection. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.