I maintain a mildly popular Twitter account that's mostly passive (schedules regular updates), hence barely follows anyone.

Recently I've noticed strange activity: my account started following people on its followers list sequentially, which indicates automated activity, reaching a total of 400 (not including people with private feeds). Suspecting that the account is compromised (I don't have any apps connected that are allowed to follow other than command line tools token on my laptop), I changed the password and revoked third-party application access.

However, I'm still at a loss as to what exactly was compromised.

  1. Is there a way to get a detailed audit of Twitter account activity? (i.e. what app/API token was used to perform particular actions)

  2. Assuming the actions were malicious, what possible benefit could a hacker get by making the account mass-follow-back its existing followers?

1 Answer 1


I believe that any activity of this kind should be reported immediately to Twitter admins. And they surely have many powerful tools to do inspection for you.

Even, if not, I wouldn't try to solve security-related, hacking and access or account compromise issues on my own hand. This is this kind of case, that should be IMO solved with particular service admins and for sure should have to be at least reported to them

And I think, that you'll find rules, that you should do this, and proper instructions in any good class Internet service. There were (too) many stories around Internet, that people's accounts were blocked or even terminated for violation of these rules and for not reporting any security issues.

Also, take a look at this answer for more details on a very similar case.

  • Well, I'd love to know what constitutes "report to admins" part. Their help forms are very, well, unhelpful. I raised a ticket via the closest one I could find (about API usage), they said, they couldn't help me, that I should use some other form, and closed my ticket.
    – Alex B
    Jan 16, 2014 at 11:06
  • Alex, if your concerns are about security or access violation, then don't rise ticket about anything even a bit close to API and all those dev-freaks! :] Try to talk to normal people, not programmers (like me). Rise a general support ticket, if this is possible (I have never used Twitter's ticketing system) or even better -- try to find any security issue reporting piece of Twitter. It have to be somewhere there. Even Facebook has one, though they don't like to listen anything from their users! :]
    – trejder
    Jan 16, 2014 at 11:20
  • That's the problem. There is a very rigid set of support topics. You can't choose a "general support ticket". The "my account is hacked" pick is basically a walkthrough with a number of steps like resetting your password. You can get to the free-text form via it, but only if you pick "none of the above worked, I still can't get to my account". I tried that today, see how it goes. It may well be that they will say "well, since you can access your account now, we'll just close the ticket". I guess that's kind of expected since I'm not a customer. You get what you pay for.
    – Alex B
    Jan 16, 2014 at 12:21

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