The social network mentions that it has collected evidence suggesting that a government might be behind this attack
Cybersecurity specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security report that, after investigating a persistent vulnerability in its support forms, the social network Twitter found evidence those flaws could have been exploited to access and extract personal information of the users stored on the platform.
The compromised support form allowed Twitter users to establish contact with the company’s technical staff and solve some problems with their accounts.
This support form API error, discovered last November, exposed few user details, such as their country’s dial-up code, as well as additional information, such as an account lock background, as reported by experts in cybersecurity.
Twitter has not provided more details about the incident so far, the approximate number of affected users is also unknown, although the company has mentioned that there is a possibility that this attack is related to hacker groups sponsored by some government.
“During our investigation we discovered unusual activity related to the API of the user assistance form. In specific, we see a large number of queries originated in individual IP addresses in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia,” mentioned in the statement published by Twitter in reference to the incident.
“Although we don’t have enough evidence at the moment, we believe that some of these IP addresses may be linked to the activities of government-sponsored hackers,” the statement concludes.
Twitter’s cybersecurity team has assured users that their phone numbers, names or other personal data has been compromised during this security incident. The company claims that the problem was solved in a single day, adding that it is not necessary for users to do any additional action to address the error.
When the company realized the incident, it began investigating its origins and background to “provide as much information as possible,” as well as keeping the authorities informed. Also, the social network is in the process of notifying potentially affected users.
Like other social networking platforms, this year Twitter has also suffered several security incidents. Last May, for example, the social network suggested to its 330 million users to change their passwords after a software error exposed users’ passwords, stored in a simple text file.
In addition, last September, a failure in the “Twitter account activity” feature exposed some of the direct messages (DM) and protected tweets of its users to developers of unauthorized third-party applications.