Phone Number Hijacking - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-01-13, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Phone Number Hijacking

With the increased use of tying accounts to mobile phone numbers and the use of mobile phones for two factor authorization, crooks are now using various means to hijack personal phone numbers and use the access they provide for theft. The bottom line, make sure your mobile phone provider has enough security on your account to prevent an imposter from porting the number it to a new SIM. I recently ported my number and was surprised how little information the new provider required. The old account was secured by easily obtainable information and a 4 digit numerical code that could be cracked in less than a second. The new account isn't much better.

How to Protect Yourself From SIM Swapping Hacks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-01-14, 11:39 AM
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I have had a PIN on my cellular account from as long ago as it was made possible to add one to my account.

Ive also had small issues where some agents systems were not authenticating my pin correctly and refused to help me properly or wanted extra information to validate me, but those were probably minor hickups and have not happened in a while. I agree, an extra layer of security on your account is the best thing to do to prevent this kind of thing
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-01-14, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Phone number porting should be tied to a more secure password since the 4 digit code normally used may be well known to phone company employees and is trivial to hack if personal data is stolen.

The other thing that allowed the theft is tying the phone number to financially sensitive accounts and emails. That allowed crooks to access cryptocurrency accounts, bank accounts and payment services such as PayPal. Some people lost 6 figures to such hacks. Just remove the mobile number from any email account or service that could be used for account recovery in the event of a lost password. My account recovery is tied to an email that is used for limited purposes and is secured with a very long password. The article suggest using a paid VoIP phone number since they are less susceptible to hijacking. Phone numbers can be parked on a VoIP service for as little as $1/mo.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-01-18, 01:28 PM
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The only time your Phone Number will really be at risk of being Hijacked, is usually if there is some kind of financial gain for the criminal or criminals. For example they can order a new iphone or android phone at your expense, or they can hijack your cell phone plan to eventually get access to your bank information and such. This has happened in the past with very well known and high ranking investors and individuals, who have had their cellphone account hijacked to gain access to their bitcoin account or bank account and had the funds withdrawn. But yes even a small risk like the criminals ordering a new phone is still a risk to you and any method you do to safeguard your account will help ensure it is secure.

One thing to remember, the more information you share with your friends about you, if one of them likely is a bad apple, they can do some no good or give the information to someone else who can be up to no good. Do not share email passwords, do not share voicemail passwords or facebook passwords or banking information or bank pin numbers, etc. Usually its these folks who do these things are the most likely to have their cellphone accounts or other personal accounts hijacked.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-01-18, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Financial gain is not the only motivation for doing this. An ex may just want to mess up your life. A small time crook may be happy with lesser rewards. I'll agree that people with large virtual currency accounts are most at risk from organized criminals since the currency usually cannot be traced. They are the most notable victims and are often targeted because of their wealth. It's not necessary to buy a phone. A $10 SIM card will work just as well.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2019-03-03, 04:02 PM
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yup. Even if your not a high profile investor in virtual currency, you should protect your account with some kind of 2 factor authentication, like a pin or secret security questions.

I have a friend who has added security to his account and when he called in once and validated himself, he was able to get the information of failed attempts to get access to his cellphone account, he does not know who did it, but he is sure glad he setup the extra layer of security on his account, cus there were reports at the time of people gaining access to peoples cellphone accounts and ordering expensive smartphones and having them shipped to another address, and the account holder trying to fight with the fraud dept for those upgrades or new lines created.
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