The sim card, which is a small plastic chip that fits into the phone's sim card reader, is responsible for informing one's cellular device about which cellular network to link to. It also tells the network provider of the user's preferred phone number.
Remote cellular devices are vulnerable to being misplaced due to their existence. This necessitates transferring all of these information to a new subscriber identity module (sim) card, thereby strengthening the connection between a person's phone number and online identity. As a result, one must come to terms with the essence of this deceptive scheme.
If someone convinces a victim's network provider to pass their phone number to their sim card, this is known as a sim swap hack. They are able to commit different crimes by committing identity fraud as a result of this.
How It's Done
Many people can find it challenging, but these hackers know exactly what to do or say. It all starts with them dialling your phone number. A discussion of a user's phone being lost or modified, combined with a few correct responses, such as your birthdate, which they may have gleaned from a mail, may suffice.
They can also call their victims beforehand, posing as the same network providers and requesting certain information, a technique known as social engineering. The customer service representative convinces themselves that they are the sim card owner, and the phone number is ported to their card.
The hacker completes the SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA), the first protection to one's most private accounts, thanks to a diversion of the victim's messages. That is, assuming the user had one to begin with. Otherwise, the victim's services would be duped into using the victim's phone number to obtain all of the victim's passwords.
The aim of the hacker
If it's an insecure partner that wants to watch one's incoming messages, the victim may be saving a lot of money. However, this is not always the case.
The hacker has a multitude of tasks that would severely deplete one's financial resources. For a reason, users are often encouraged to use various pins and passwords, and hackers can have the easiest time in the world gaining access to all of one's belongings. They steal money from a victim's bank account, gain access to their private keys, and take all of their crypto properties.
That isn't it, however. For the sake of amusement, they can delete all of the victim's emails and social media accounts. It's possible to gain access to one's deepest secrets in order to blackmail others in the future. Even enlisting the help of one's family and friends to supplement one's fortune is possible.
The con artists are well aware that attempting any of these during the day would agitate their victims due to a barrage of alerts on their mobile phones. So, what is the right course of action? When the user is sound asleep, do it at night. Many people have gone to bed comfortably and awoke as weak as a church mouse.
As can be shown, a sim swap hack is relatively simple to carry out. Fortunately, there are certain precautions that can be taken to reduce one's vulnerability to these hacks.
Getting A More Secure Two-Factor Authentication
Although SMS-based 2FA is a security measure, it is also very simple to circumvent. More stable 2FAs should be used. App-based ones work perfectly well.
Not using one's phone number in online activities
Attaching phone numbers to online accounts normally sounds a lot more convenient. Some people consider a number with many digits to be a safe password. That is a complete no-no. It's like giving pirates the keys to a treasure chest.
Any 2FA can be bypassed by a hacker who has a phone number linked to their victim's online account. This renders the first safeguard ineffective.
Using Passcodes And Pins
Many service providers provide a pin or passcode alternative for their customers' accounts. It's a good idea to make use of them. The extra layer of protection could help a lot.
To make it more difficult for hackers, pins and passcodes should be unique for each account, particularly for sensitive ones.
Keeping Private Accounts Apart From Other Online Activities
When a hacker strikes, the first thing that comes to mind are bank accounts, crypto savings accounts, mobile money accounts, and core social media identities. It's a good idea to keep them apart from other profiles and online personas. It's even better if they have a hidden phone and SIM card.
Nobody wants to wake up one day to find their savings gone and their online data tampered with or erased. As a result, it is extremely prudent to take the above-mentioned preventive steps. Both of these measures may reduce one's vulnerability to sim swap hacks, but hackers are still looking for new ways to get around them.
It's also a good idea to be cautious. A hack is taking place if messages stop going through or reminders about one's sim being disabled pop up. Acting quickly to stop the hack in its tracks could save you a lot of money and embarrassment.