How to Save your Phone from Sim Jacking Attacks?

Author - ISA (Comstar) | Mar 13 2020 12:30

what is a SIM port attack?

With the technological revolution in its most evolutionary phase where every day there comes a new invention, the dire need for online security and safety becomes a significant concern for all. An interesting binary about technology is that the more there is technology, the more there should be protected from its negative usage. One such binary is the rise of cryptocurrency along with challenges related to sim jacking attacks.

So, what exactly are sim jacking attacks? What do they do? What are their potential threats? What are the ways one can assess that attack is pertaining to sim jacking? What should be the step forward once a sim card is jacked? These are all the questions that we will discuss and elaborate in this blog.

Sim Jacking is the process where a hacker impersonates your cellular service provider on your behalf and eventually steals your phone number. You are told that you asked for swamping the phone number to your new phone as you were planning to buy a new one. You get stunned as it was not you who wanted to buy a new phone. You make a call to your phone number and you are unable to connect because now the hacker has access to your very own cell phone number. The network service seems to be unavailable. It was all scam actually. The hacker now has access to your primary emails which are linked to your bank accounts, social media accounts and other confidential information. Hackers exploit and blackmail people asking them for money and other fraudulent transactions. This usually happens to celebrities, high-profile people, or heads of business organizations, but there is a chance that this might happen to you. For instance, Entrepreneur Jared Goetz was sim jacked and was unable to access his phone, emails and credit card. So, better be aware and know how this happens.

Cybercriminals do not need to bribe cellular network company employees for all sim jacking attacks. Even though this might happen in some cases. Employees of cellphone companies are paid through cryptocurrency or PayPal accounts once a successful attack is made. In other cases, phone network companies are tricked with smartness and curiosity of cybercriminal’s presence on Dark Web where the latter gets access to social security numbers, physical addresses and ID cards. Employees are tricked when a random person, who is actually a hacker, calls being someone else and has access to all the required information of the target person. Eventually, a person’s cell phone number is stolen and he/she loses access to it.

Below are some of the ways these attacks can be avoided:

•    Ask for extra security from your Network Service Provider when you buy a sim card.  
•    Use alternate phone numbers when required, i.e. for hotel wi-fi etc. 
•    Call your Network Service Provider right way once a sim card is jacked. 
•    Log in to your email and change your passwords immediately after the attack. 
•    Use different passwords for different social media accounts. Do not use “1234” as passwords, or easy passwords as “abcd”. Instead, use password generators. Also, don’t use last four digits of your bank account numbers or birth date year.  
•    Audit your accounts and assess vulnerability.
•    Use Multi-factor authentication codes for verification so that accessing your personal information gets tougher. 
•    Don’t share too many details on social media because they are linked to your email addresses and phone numbers and hence influence your privacy and make you an easy prey. 
•    Network service providers need to take responsibility for authenticated codes as well because we receive those codes on our cell phone numbers as text messages. No such information is asked when we buy a sim card. 
•    Cellular company employees should be better trained with latest social engineering techniques. Without training, they might get easily tricked, harming the customer’s privacy and financial information. 
•    Once your sim card is jacked, do not respond to the attacker. Make him feel you are not easy to reach.
•     Contact Digital Rights officials and legal advisors at your place.

These are all the measures that we can take before; our sim card gets jacked! Share and make online presence of your loved ones and business colleagues safe.

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