Jump to content

Twilio Incident Report: Employee and Customer Account Compromise


David H. Lipman

Recommended Posts

Incident Report: Employee and Customer Account Compromise - August 4, 2022

Copy_of_C01_Blog_Text_FXpLixL.width-808.png

Quote

Twilio believes that the security of our customers’ data is of paramount importance, and when an incident occurs that might threaten that security, we communicate what happened in a transparent manner. To that end, we are providing an overview of this incident impacting customer information and our response.

What happened?

On August 4, 2022, Twilio became aware of unauthorized access to information related to a limited number of Twilio customer accounts through a sophisticated social engineering attack designed to steal employee credentials. This broad based attack against our employee base succeeded in fooling some employees into providing their credentials. The attackers then used the stolen credentials to gain access to some of our internal systems, where they were able to access certain customer data. We continue to notify and are working directly with customers who were affected by this incident. We are still early in our investigation, which is ongoing.

More specifically, current and former employees recently reported receiving text messages purporting to be from our IT department. Typical text bodies suggested that the employee's passwords had expired, or that their schedule had changed, and that they needed to log in to a URL the attacker controls. The URLs used words including "Twilio," "Okta," and "SSO" to try and trick users to click on a link taking them to a landing page that impersonated Twilio’s sign-in page. The text messages originated from U.S. carrier networks. We worked with the U.S. carriers to shut down the actors and worked with the hosting providers serving the malicious URLs to shut those accounts down. Additionally, the threat actors seemed to have sophisticated abilities to match employee names from sources with their phone numbers.

Sample SMS phishing messages:

example phishing message 1example phishing message

We have heard from other companies that they, too, were subject to similar attacks, and have coordinated our response to the threat actors – including collaborating with carriers to stop the malicious messages, as well as their registrars and hosting providers to shut down the malicious URLs. Despite this response, the threat actors have continued to rotate through carriers and hosting providers to resume their attacks.

Based on these factors, we have reason to believe the threat actors are well-organized, sophisticated and methodical in their actions. We have not yet identified the specific threat actors at work here, but have liaised with law enforcement in our efforts. Socially engineered attacks are -- by their very nature -- complex, advanced, and built to challenge even the most advanced defenses.

What have we done?

Once Twilio confirmed the incident, our security team revoked access to the compromised employee accounts to mitigate the attack. A leading forensics firm was engaged to aid our ongoing investigation.

We have reemphasized our security training to ensure employees are on high alert for social engineering attacks, and have issued security advisories on the specific tactics being utilized by malicious actors since they first started to appear several weeks ago. We have also instituted additional mandatory awareness training on social engineering attacks in recent weeks. Separately, we are examining additional technical precautions as the investigation progresses.

As the threat actors were able to access a limited number of accounts’ data, we have been notifying the affected customers on an individual basis with the details. If you are not contacted by Twilio, then it means we have no evidence that your account was impacted by this attack.

Trust is paramount at Twilio, and, we know the security of our systems is an important part of earning and keeping your trust. We sincerely apologize that this happened. While we maintain a well-staffed security team using modern and sophisticated threat detection and deterrence measures, it pains us to have to write this note. We will of course perform an extensive post-mortem on this incident and begin instituting betterments to address the root causes of the compromise immediately. We thank you for your business, and are here to help impacted customers in every way possible.

Next steps

The Twilio Security Incident Response Team will post additional updates here if there are any changes. Also note that Twilio will never ask for your password or ask you to provide two-factor authentication information anywhere other than through the twilio.com portal.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
Back to top
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies - We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.