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Twitter bug may have been exploited by state-sponsored hackers

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Twitter admitted to a bug in one of its support forum APIs that allowed cyber thugs to discover a Twitter user’s account phone number country code and if the account had been locked. It’s possible, Twitter said, that this might be tied to state-sponsored attacks.

During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia. While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors.

Twitter detected the attack on Nov. 15 and resolved the issue a day later on Nov. 16.

Other cybersecurity news:

Hackers hid code in memes posted on Twitter to communicate with malware

Speaking of Twitter, Trend Micro researchers discovered that cyber thugs hid code in memes posted to Twitter to communicate with malware. Malware-infected PCs took instructions from an embedded command in the meme. For example, the “print” command was hidden inside the memes, which enabled “the malware to take screenshots of the infected machines. The screenshots are sent to a C&C server whose address is obtained through a hard-coded URL on pastebin.com.” The malware had support for retrieving a list of running processes, capturing clipboard content, and retrieving usernames and filenames from infected machines.

While the malware was not downloaded from Twitter, Trend Micro said the threat is notable due to the malware’s commands coming from benign-looking, yet malicious, memes posted on a legitimate service — which also happens to be a popular social networking platform. It couldn’t be taken down until the malicious Twitter account was disabled. Twitter disabled the account on Dec. 13.  

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