MTN recently placed a 500MB daily usage cap on its free Twitter offering following the exploitation of the service by hackers.
The mobile operator said its Twitter service is extremely popular, attracting million of users, and it will continue to give all customers access to free data for use on Twitter every month.
However, MTN said a small percentage of customers have exploited the offering to use the free data on downloads and other platforms.
After reviewing the Twitter activity of its mobile subscribers, MTN found that 99.1% of all Twitter users on its network consumed under 500MB per day – with 80% using less than 10MB per day.
Due to activity by hackers, though, MTN implemented the 500MB cap to prevent the system being exploited.
“We want to keep bringing our customers closer to news, current affairs, family, friends, and topical interests, and MTN’s Free Twitter service helps make that happen,” said MTN Consumer Business executive Mapula Bodibe.
“In the limited instances where we are seeing excessive use, it’s clear that the Free Twitter IP is being hacked to stream IPs that are not free, while we are also seeing huge files and videos being transferred, resulting in excessive usage,” said Bodibe.
“Our focus is to protect the network experience of millions of customers who engage with this service.”
Exploiting free Twitter
MTN said it has seen a large increase in activity in the free Twitter system in recent months, and attributes this data usage to a small percentage of users.
“MTN experienced a 300% increase in activity in the past two months and it believes less than 1% of the current user base are greatly exceeding 500MB per day,” said MTN.
“Certain users are consuming many GBs per day, which would only be possible by abusing the service through hacking and tunnelling activities.”
“We are dealing directly with each of these excessive users and they are being capped, to protect the masses who are using the service, as it was intended,” added MTN.
The company declined to divulge further details about the hacking and tunnelling activities, as it does not want to exacerbate the exploitative behaviour.