SIM swapping can leave all the data on your mobile phone exposed to hackers and there’s not much that a normal person can do about it. It allows a hacker to take charge of your phone number and can further enable them to access your bank balance and social media accounts.
Many known celebrities and business personalities have also fallen prey to these hackers besides hundreds of regular users. The latest in the list has been none other than the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Hackers had posted several offensive tweets from his profile after gaining access to his account. Twitter officials had later clarified that a phone number linked to his account was compromised due to a security lapse by the mobile provider.
You’re at Risk too!
SIM swapping is a common technique among illegal hackers around the world. But unfortunately, there aren’t many ways one can rest assured that he is safe from these threats. Additionally, SIM swapping potentially has a double risk for the victim. It can leave both their social media account and financial bank account exposed to hackers.
Experts have admitted that there isn’t much that ordinary users can do to completely waive off the risk. Moreover, even tech-savvy professionals have failed to protect themselves from these attacks. Although SIM swapping has been around for ages, with increasing digitisation, risks associated with it have also grown many folds.
Hackers have been successful in persuading mobile communication providers to change the smartphone device for a particular phone number to their own smartphones. Some of them have used customer care helpline to get access to the victim’s phone number while others have bribed employees in the company for the same.
After accessing the phone number, hackers request temporary login codes from online companies like Google and Facebook to recover passwords. Most companies usually allow users to recover their account through this temporary code sent as SMS to their mobile phones. But, because of the SIM swapping, these temporary codes reach the hacker’s device instead.
A Reality Check to Security Claims made by Telecomm Companies
Although telecommunication companies have claimed to offer security measures against the threats of SIM swapping, they have been ineffective so far. Phone companies had offered a security measure that requires users to enter pin codes while switching devices. But, hackers ended up bribing their own employees to gain access to the pin codes.
SIM swapping has enabled hackers to gain access to private conversations besides posting offensive content from their profiles and stealing money from their bank accounts. Several users including celebrities have fallen victim to multiple attacks in a similar fashion despite additional safety measures in place.
Follow these steps to prevent threat: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-prevent-and-respond-to-a-sim-swap-scam-1835627474
Some victims have claimed that they could not get enough help from the Telecomm companies after they detected attacks. Many of these victims have lost years of data stored on their devices and have failed to recover most of it even after months of effort.
Recent years have seen a worrying escalation in the number of SIM swapping attacks and their magnitude. Cybersecurity experts have also warned companies to stop the usage of phone numbers to recover accounts. It is high time that companies collaborate and either make it more secure or find an alternative for recovery and financial transactions.