Feeds

Twitter SMS spoofing still undead

Micro-blogging body-snatching risk

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.