Sim Swapping is not a new term in the world of vulnerability. To be honest, many such words are coined every day; the real problem starts when these words become a threat. And frankly speaking, it has; according to Tech Radar some T-mobile users have recently become victims of data theft, particularly via a SIM Swapping Attack. So, what is the SIM Swapping attack and how to stay safe from it? Let’s get on it.
What is SIM Swapping Attack?
A sim swapping attack is a fraudulent technique in which a telecommunication operator somehow assigns your mobile number to another SIM card. It allows the hacker to use your mobile number from their SIM card. This means all your SMSs, Calls, and OTPs will now be sent to the new SIM card or mobile phone, rather than yours.
This technique becomes extremely dangerous in scenarios when the attacker has your basic information, such as name, social security number, driving licence, bank details. The attacker can simply make a call and empty your bank balance without any issue, and since the attacker already has your generic information, they can easily impersonate you.
Sim Swapping incidents
There is a grey area in the digital world, and that is called data breaches. Every couple of months, there is some sort of data breach happing in its entire world. For example, this year, in April 2021, millions of Facebook users data was leaked online; these days included email addresses, passwords, names, photos, dates of birth and other information. In January 2021, 200 million data records of website sociallarks were leaked and sold on the black market. Finally, in June 2021, 700 million user data of LinkedIn was revealed, which included other information, including phone numbers and social media account handles.
I’m trying to say that there will always be one or another set of data leaks happening in the entire world. So, what is the solution to this? How to stay safe from Attacks like SIM Swapping?
How to Protect yourself from SIM Swapping Attack?
There are a few precautionary measures that you can take in order rot stay safe from the SIM Swapping Attack. Let’s break them down.
Reset your SIM pin:
Select a strong SIM pin that only you would know. It is advised not to use generic numbers, any number from social security numbers or anything that can show up in any sort of data breach.
Make your Social media Profile Private:
There are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to keep your account private on Social media.
- Try not to keep too much information on your social media account. It’s simply a hazard. Just put your basci information on your social medai account, and refrain yourself from sharing anything that can indiciate your home location, your personal phone number or anything.
- Try not to engage with unknow links. You should never click on any link that you are not aware of. Ensure that it comes for a legit platform and it woon’t hamper your online safety.
As long as a hacker has access to a phone number linked with one or more of your online accounts, they may be able to bypass two-factor authentication altogether. It’s difficult to separate oneself from those seven numbers at large, but it’s worth a shot if you’re a high-value target or have a sensitive account.
Contact your Carier operator immediately
Transfer of SIM number to another SIM doesn’t happen in seconds. The network tower takes a few hours to synchronise your new SIM with the phone number. Your number will stop working during this hour, and the SIM card will stop getting any network or reception. If this is happening to you, you should immediately contact your carrier operator and inform them about the situation.
Targets with a high degree of risk should be further considered:
A physical key should be used for your primary email address, while other accounts should be protected using app-based 2FA. 2FA should be enabled on as many accounts as possible.
Enrol in Gmail’s Advanced Security Program if Gmail is your primary personal email account.
Do not link your phone number to any accounts to avoid having your password reset via text message. Instead, use a service like MySudo or Google Voice to create a different phone number for your account. Then, don’t ever give out that phone number to anybody else!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and be careful out there.
Editor-in-chief at Cashify Techbyte. Author, Writer, Tech Journalist. Usually, I simplify logic gates. Ping me for gadget & movie recommendations. Always ready for a cooking challenge.