A security researcher said he has matched 17 million phone numbers to Twitter user accounts by exploiting a flaw in Twitter’s Android app.
Ibrahim Balic found that it was possible to upload entire lists of generated phone numbers through Twitter’s contacts upload feature. “If you upload your phone number, it fetches user data in return,” he told TechCrunch.
He said Twitter’s contact upload feature doesn’t accept lists of phone numbers in sequential format — likely as a way to prevent this kind of matching. Instead, 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. (Balic said the bug did not exist in the web-based upload feature.)