SIM card swap: what it is and how to protect yourself – Technology News – Technology

SIM card swap: what it is and how to protect yourself - Technology News - Technology

The creativity of cybercriminals to generate new tactics to deceive their victims seems endless. Often new modalities appear with any criminals They search for everything from identity theft to computer theft.

These types of cases continue to increase amid the pandemic; Only during the first quarter of this year, in Colombia sMore than 1 billion attempts have been recorded for cyberattacksAccording to a recent report by Fortinet.

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In the midst of this panorama, SIM swap cases, a method criminals do Through identity theft they managed to clone the SIM card of the victim’s cell phone number.

This starts with identity theft and this can happen if someone calls the phone company pretending to be the victim and asks to reactivate the account on a different SIM, which they do when the account is activated on the SIM on another phone. It remains inactive on the cell phone of the person being attacked‘,” explains Roberto Martinez, Kaspersky Cyber ​​Security Analyst.

In this case, people are subjected to various crimes. It should be borne in mind that many pages use two-factor authentication through text messages, and this is exploited by attackers.

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By switching the SIM card, personal data theft can occur, because when the SIM card is cloned, the attacker is You can request to reactivate the account or create new passwords through text messages on platforms Where the user has a service.

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Through it, the criminal can not only gain access to the phone line, but also enter other accounts that the user has associated with his phone number, such as social networks and applications with financial entities.

Likewise, bank fraud can be recorded, whereby an attacker with access to the online bank account can make transactions and purchases. In addition, Alexandre Ramirez, director of ESET Colombia, notes the following: The criminal can take advantage of the text messages that the bank sends to the user.

This method is taking place in an important and growing way not only in Latin America, but in Europe. It’s a cross-border issue and it happens a lot,” he explains.

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What to do?

The main way you can determine if you are a victim is if your mobile phone line runs out for no reason and your phone data and calling services stop working. This happens because when the criminal activates the SIM card on another phone, the card that the victim uses on his cell phone is left without service.

Before this warning sign, The first thing to do is to contact your phone operator.

“You must immediately report the news to the cell phone company and ask the reasons for your inability to reach; in the event of a fraudulent act, they will notify you and You can proceed to lock the cloned SIM cardMartinez noted.

Having two-factor authentication for entering different platforms is very important, but in this case it is better to choose mechanisms that do not require validation by text messages, but other tools such as biometric recognition and digital codes, Because if an attacker gets into your line, he won’t be able to get into other accounts.

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There are tools like Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator, which can be used for two-factor authentication. It allows users’ accounts and access to be more accurately protected,” Martinez highlights.

It is also important that once the cloned SIM is blocked, all platforms and companies with accounts related to the phone number are notified to conduct a security review and report the malicious activity of which they have been a victim.

At this point, Ramirez points out, Good preventive habits must be maintained to avoid falling into tactics Social engineering in which criminals are given access to sensitive information that can be used to their advantage.

“Every day new threats are presented, we are talking about something that did not exist a few years ago, cybercriminals will always be attentive to how technology is evolving, they are creative and see opportunity, which is why we must be attentive to the practices that are being used,” he stated.

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