Feeds

Bloke leaks '1000s' of Twitter login tokens, says he can hack ANY twit

Known vulnerability sat on by Twitter, inevitable happens

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A hacker calling himself the "Mauritania Attacker" claims he has compromised every Twitter user account on the planet - and leaked the OAuth tokens for thousands of Turkish tweeters.

Meanwhile, a security researcher claims to have obtained similar details by creating a fake app that masqueraded as Twitter's own third-party client, Tweetdeck.

The Mauritania Attacker's token dump reveals OAuth data rather than passwords. The miscreant boasted to Indian security site Techworm that he had access to the "entire database of users on Twitter" and that "no account is safe".

The attacker has leaked more than 15,000 account details onto file-sharing service Zippyshare. He also claims to have the “oauth_token secret codes” which, he says, will allow him to log directly into victims' accounts.

On cursory inspection, at least, the authentication tokens look genuine. The circumstances of the hack suggest that leak stems from a hacked third-party app rather than Twitter itself.

Matters would be a lot worse if actual passwords were leaked, in which case Twitter would be obliged to reset passwords to avoid account hijacking on a grand scale. As things stand, it might still be a good idea to reset access to connected third-party apps.

"The details, which appear to be genuine, do not include passwords," writes David Meyer on tech analysis blog GigaOM. "They do include OAuth tokens, though, so Twitter users should probably revoke and re-establish access to connected third-party apps."

'Twitter's implementation of OAuth2 is vulnerable many weeks ago'

OAuth tokens that are used to connect Twitter accounts to third-party services without obliging users to hand over passwords. Issues with the technology are not uncommon. For example, security researcher Kelker Ryan warned Twitter's implementation of OAuth2 is vulnerable many weeks ago.

He was unable to get a response from Twitter and The Register passed his research to representatives of the micro-blogging firm with a request to bring it to the attention of techies two weeks ago.

We've yet to hear back from Twitter, but the latest claims of a hack ought to ought to be enough to prompt a deeper investigation into the issue in general. It's unclear whether or not Mauritania Attacker exploited the vulnerability discovered by Ryan, though the security researcher suspects that this is at least possible.

"I don't know anything about that in terms of the person who did it, but I imagine that my post gave a few people some ideas and they took advantage of the Twitter vuln by using APIs to request information from accounts without needing any user interaction," Ryan told El Reg. "I would have to play around a bit to see if it's possible, but I don't see why it wouldn't be."

"The vuln that I wrote about on coderwall.com allows for anyone's application to trick the Twitter service into thinking that the application request are authentically coming from the TweetDeck application," he added.

A more detailed explanation of a compromised OAuth consumer secret uncovered by Ryan can be found on Stack Overflow.

However Mikko H. Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, said that based on the leaked credentials the attack is probably the result of a phishing attack targeting Turkey. "My guess: it's some phishing attack on a Turkish site," Hypponen told El Reg. "Look how many of the accounts they list have a reference to Turkey. Even the ones which don't have an obvious link to Turkey in name seem to be from Turkey."

We passed on claims of a hack against OAuth tokens to Twitter but are yet to hear back. We'll update this story as and when we hear more.

Mauritania Attacker founded a hacktivist collective called AnonGhost, which has so far specialised in hacking and defacing the websites of US and British firms and the oil industry, GigaOM adds. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.