Last week, news broke that Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account had been compromised. On Saturday, his account tweeted roughly a dozen racist and offensive tweets over a 20-minute span. The reason? Hackers were able to gain access to his account through SIM hacking.
SIM hacking is essentially a hacking technique where hackers are able to get a person’s phone number assigned to a new SIM card that’s in a phone they control. Hackers often do it all themselves on a carrier’s website, and making it happen is often as easy as cracking your carrier's password.
On a basic level, the hack is a solid reminder that we should all secure our mobile carrier accounts with a complex unique password as well as perhaps a PIN number. It’s also a reminder of another thing: You can tweet via SMS.
In the early days of Twitter, there wasn’t a smartphone app. Twitter, after all, launched in March 2006 and the first iPhone didn’t show up until June 29, 2007. And even with the launch of the first iPhone not everyone had one. Most people were still rocking phones with just a keypad. Enter SMS tweeting.
While most of us use an app now if we want to tweet from our phone, the feature is still there. To use it, you just need to have your smartphone number connected to your Twitter account, something you’ve likely already done in order to set up something like two-factor authentication (you’ve set up two-factor authentication, right?!).
Once it’s connected, you just need to send whatever you want to tweet to the Twitter shortcode for your particular country.
In Australia, you’ll send a text to 0198089488 (although Telstra appears to be the only supported carrier). When you do, your message will be tweeted from your account just as if you had typed it in on Twitter’s website or app.