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Twitter tanks after disclosing that its support form exposed data to IP addresses in China and Saudi Arabia

Key Points
  • Twitter tanked 6.8 percent after disclosing that its support form exposed information like phone number country codes to IP addresses in China and Saudi Arabia. It said the problem was resolved within a day once it was identified.
  • The company could not confirm whether the IP addresses were linked to state actors.
  • Twitter was also called out for its role in spreading misinformation by Russian actors in an independent report commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018. 
Anushree Fadnavis | Reuters

Twitter tanked 6.8 percent Monday after disclosing that one of its support form exposed user data to IP addresses in China and Saudi Arabia. Twitter said the it could not confirm whether the IPs were linked to state actors, according to its blog post disclosing the leak.

Twitter said the data exposed included things like country codes of phone numbers linked to accounts and whether accounts had been locked by Twitter. Full phone numbers and other personal data were not exposed, according to Twitter. The company said it began working on the problem on Nov. 15 and resolved it by Nov. 16. It notified people whose accounts were affected and said they do not need to do anything further to secure their accounts, according to the blog post.

The company was also called out Monday for its role in spreading misinformation by Russian actors around the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Two independent reports commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were released Monday, revealing how a firm led by a man with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin used platforms like Twitter to influence American voters. According to the reports, all of the tech companies it reviewed failed to provide all available data on misinformation on their platforms.

In response to an earlier request for comment on the report, a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement, "Our singular focus is to improve the health of the public conversation on our platform, and protecting the integrity of elections is an important aspect of that mission. We've made significant strides since 2016 to counter manipulation of our service, including our release of additional data in October related to previously disclosed activities to enable further independent academic research and investigation."

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