Increase In SIM Swap Attacks Raises Concern

Increase In SIM Swap Attacks Raises Concern

In what is still a developing story, is turning out to be of great concern for crypto traders and exchanges alike. Over the past couple of weeks, an increasing number of members of the crypto community have become victims of SIM swapping attacks.

What looks like a coordinated attack is targetting SIM cards in order to transfer the phone number stored in the SIM to a third party SIM. This ATO (account take over) allows the hackers to then receive SMS codes and other two-factor authentication tools to their phone instead of the intended user.

Whilst details of this attack are still being revealed, it appears that hackers are using social engineering and a variety of other techniques to accomplish their goal. SIM swapping attacks have been taking place sparsely over the years, but they have intensified as more passwords and secure information is transmitted directly to a user’s smartphone.

Whilst law enforcement has had some success in capturing some of the individuals allegedly involved in these attacks, and there has been a significant drop in reports over the past couple of months, it looks like the criminals are now at it again. The majority of the latest victims have reported having had their Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies stolen.

A solution to a growing problem

Whilst telecoms companies and law enforcement are working on solutions to protect users from SIM swapping attacks, crypto users are encouraged to switch to hardware security tokens instead of the SMS two-factor authentication. In fact, whilst Twitter was alight with complaints from victims, it appears that those using hardware security have not been hacked.

However, users must continue to remain vigilant, no matter which wallet or exchange they use. Some hackers who could not get through to the victim’s crypto account changed tactic and targetted social media profiles and emails. The advice here has always been the same, using difficult passwords which include symbols and numbers and using different passwords for each system.

A US problem?

The recent increase in these attacks has only been reported in the US, and whilst the majority of victims claim to be T-Mobile users it does appear that users of other telecom providers have also been affected. In a previous interview, a detective at the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Clara County gave more information about such attacks.

There are three primary ways in which a hacker can successfully carry out a SIM swap attack. The first involved getting help from a mobile store employee, potentially through bribery or blackmail. Similarly, the second is to have a former employee who knows how to enter into a less secure system to gain user details. The third method involves tricking store employees into swapping a user’s SIM card.

Whichever way is used, telecoms providers have intensified their monitoring of such reports and are now better equipped to work with law enforcement and identify the attackers. However, crypto users must still do all they can to protect themselves from such attacks in the first place.

Recently Similar News

cex-promotion exmo-promotion

Latest Guides

Latest News

CoinEx,Investment,Margin Trading,Promotion

CoinEx Offer 30-Day Interest-Free Borrow Of First Margin Trade

After the reveal of three separate promotions this time last week, CoinEX are back again with a brand-new promotion that allows users to borrow their first trade free of charge for 30 days. Now in its second month of existence, CoinEx’s margin trading service has been quite a hit amongst users and with new updates […]

17 August, 2019
Exchange Platforms,Exmo,Investment,Listings

Exmo Announce Details of ROOBEE Listing

In 10 days, Exmo will be offering the latest token on their platform for trading, ROOBEE. In anticipation of this, they have released important details for traders who are looking to take advantage of the new listing early on. What is most unique about this latest listing is that it will coincide with the listing […]

17 August, 2019

Coinbase Becomes World’s Largest Crypto Custodian

Following the acquisition of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet and cold storage location, Coinbase Custody is now the world’s largest crypto custodian. After the completion of the deal, Coinbase Custody officially surpassed $7 billion in assets, which saw them reach the highest volume of assets in the business. Officially making them the most popular choice for […]

16 August, 2019
Bitcoin,Exmo,Updates,Withdrawals

Exmo Have Reduced Their BTC Withdrawal Limit By 5x

EXMO has made new changes to the minimum withdrawals of bitcoin from their platform. The platform informed users on Tuesday, 13th August, that the limit would come into immediate effect. With the new limit for withdrawals being set at 0.002 BTC, which sees a decrease by 5 times. Users have been told to consider this […]

15 August, 2019
De Fi,Decentralised,Exchange Platforms,Trading

Ethfinex To Rebrand as De-Fi

Ethfinex has announced that it is set to close down its existing operations in order to rebrand itself under the title, De-fi. The news was announced via a blog post where it described the plan as its “biggest milestone yet.” The aim of the rebrand is to move towards a more decentralised exchange platform. Feeling […]

15 August, 2019
CoinEx,Exchange Platforms,Options Trading,Updates

A Quick-Look at CoinEX’s New Options Trading Service

Monday saw the launch of CoinEx’s new options trading service. We took a look at what it promises users of the service. Following the launch of their accelerator programs, futures trading and margin trading on their platform, CoinEx latest new options trading service is the latest in the line of new products from the platform. But, […]

14 August, 2019
CEX,Listings,Tokens

CEX.io Announces Listing of Two Ontology Project Tokens

CEX.io have confirmed that new tokens will be available for trading on their platform, ONT and ONG, both of which are part of the Ontology Project, a public blockchain protocol with high performance. While part of the same project, the two coins are unique in their purpose and function. ONG operates as a utility token […]

14 August, 2019
Exchange Platforms,KuCoin,Listings,Tokens

KuCoin Reveal New Listing, Enecuum (ENQ)

KuCoin has released news of their second new listing in a week, Enecuum. Following the listing of the security firm Fortnoxer’s token last week, KuCoin has followed it up directly with the release of Enecuum for trading on their platform. While Enecum may have had a lower profile than its predecessor, following a private sale […]

13 August, 2019