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In February, a bug in Twitter exposed private tweets of some Android users for over five years when they made changes in their settings, like changing the email address linked to their accounts. Pixabay

In yet another data breach on Twitter which has gone through a bad year on security, a researcher has claimed he matched 17 million phone numbers to user accounts – including high-profile politicians and officials — by exploiting a vulnerability in Twitter’s Android app.

Security researcher Ibrahim Balic found that it was possible to upload entire lists of generated phone numbers through Twitter’s contacts upload feature, reports TechCrunch.


“If you upload your phone number, it fetches user data in return,” he was quoted as saying.

Most of the users were in countries like Israel, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Armenia, France and Germany.

In one case, TechCrunch was able to identify a senior Israeli politician using their matched phone number.

Over a two-month period, Balic began alerting users directly and when Twitter came to know, the micro-blogging platform blocked his efforts on December 20.

Balic had created a WhatsApp group to alert users.

He generated more than two billion phone numbers, one after the other, then randomized the numbers, and uploaded them to Twitter through the Android app.


In yet another data breach on Twitter which has gone through a bad year on security, a researcher has claimed he matched 17 million phone numbers to user accounts – including high-profile politicians and officials — by exploiting a vulnerability in Twitter’s Android app. Pixabay

The bug did not exist in the web-based upload feature.

It’s not yet confirmed if Balic’s efforts are related to a Twitter statement last week which admitted a malicious code was inserted into its app by a bad actor that could have compromised several Android users’ information worldwide, including in India.

The vulnerability within Twitter for Android could allow the bad actor to see non-public account information or to control your account (send Tweets or Direct Messages).

Balic is previously known for identifying a security flaw breach that affected Apple’s developer center in 2013.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company takes these reports seriously and are actively investigating to ensure this bug can’t be exploited again.

Twitter has faced several vulnerabilities on its platform in the recent past.

In May, Twitter disclosed a bug that shared some iOS users’ data with an unnamed partner, even if the user did not opt to share data. The bug affected Twitter’s iOS user base and they were notified about the issue.


The vulnerability within Twitter for Android could allow the bad actor to see non-public account information or to control your account (send Tweets or Direct Messages). Pixabay

In February, a bug in Twitter exposed private tweets of some Android users for over five years when they made changes in their settings, like changing the email address linked to their accounts.

ALSO READ: Vivo Aims at Developing AI-Enabled 5G Devices for Indian Market

In a huge data breach last year, the micro-blogging platform alerted all users to change their password after it discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in an internal system. (IANS)


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Twitter has also announced plans to roll out paid Ticketed Spaces for iOS users where some hosts on its live audio feature can now sell access to Ticketed Spaces. Twitter had previously said that it will take a 3 per cent cut of creators' earnings from Ticketed Spaces. (IANS/ MBI)


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Taliban is being supported by other countries, who are asking the United Nations to work towards its economy and people.

At least 10 regional powers have joined the new Taliban rulers in Afghanistan in their call to the United Nations to help the country bail itself from the feared economic collapse and a humanitarian catastrophe.


At a regional-level meeting in Moscow, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sided with the Taliban delegation and called on the UN to convene a United Nations donor conference at the earliest to help rebuild the ear-torn Afghanistan.

"It should take place with the understanding that the main burden should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in Afghanistan over the past 20 years," said a joint statement of the Moscow conference.

Voices of concern and criticism were also raised against the United States, which opted not to attend the talks citing 'technical reasons'. The US was criticised for invading Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and after 20 years, opted to an chaotic withdrawal, which created easy inroads for the Taliban to take control of the country.

It was also highlighted that international aid is the need of the hour for Afghanistan as any instability in the country would have a spillover effect on the regional countries and could threaten regional stability.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has brought with it looming fears and memories of the '90s, when practices like public stoning, hardline setup and marginalisation of women were normal.

However, the Taliban, under the new government setup, have assured that rights of women will be guaranteed.

"Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used as a base for anyone to threaten the security of another country," said Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

"Isolating Afghanistan is in no one's interest. The meeting is very important for the stability of the entire region," said Deputy Prime Minister in the Taliban setup, Abdul Salam Hanafi.

The regional powers, including Russia, have maintained that the Taliban are a new reality, calling on them to work towards the formation of an inclusive government with representation from all ethnic groups and political figures.

While the regional powers recognised the need for immediate aid and help for Afghanistan, they have declined to give official recognition to the Taliban government.

"Kremlin recognises Taliban's efforts to try and stabilise the situation in Afghanistan. A new administration is in power now. We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Moscow conference holds great importance, as it is the most significant international meeting since the Taliban takeover.

However, the Taliban have been given a clear direction to first meet and fulfil the promises they made when they assumed power, which includes rights to women and an ethnically inclusive government. (IANS/JB)

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