Twitter moves to replace passwords with phone numbers

Microblogging firm releases Digits service to bypass need to remember multiple credentials

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Twitter moves to replace passwords with phone numbers Digits allows app end-users to register by entering a phone number, home country and a one-time password sent via SMS. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 23, 2014

Twitter Inc has unveiled a service that will allow users to log into apps using their phone number, circumventing the need to remember multiple passwords, Mashable reported.

The Twitter Digits service is a standalone offering that is part of the Twitter Fabric toolkit, which gives support to developers try to build slicker apps. Digits allows app end-users to register by entering a phone number, home country and a one-time password sent via SMS.

The microblogging firm announced Digits at its first Twitter Flight conference for mobile developers in San Francisco. The service will be made available from today in 216 countries and with support for 28 languages on iOS, Android and the Web. Digits is particularly aimed at emerging markets, where users have smartphones but do not necessarily own a PC or have an email address.

It is not clear how Twitter plans to monetise Digits, or how secure it will prove to be. Malware such as Eurograbber has proven successful in cracking two-factor authentication, and while it currently targets the European banking sector, if Digits proves popular, cyber criminals may turn their attention to a general-purpose variant.

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