SMS messaging linked to cybersecurity risks

TeamRed
TeamRed
Sep 6, 2019
3 min read

Woman using cellphone at nightOnce a key communication tool, SMS messages have taken a back seat thanks to the advent of iMessage, Whatsapp, Telegram, LINE, WeChat, and countless other instant messaging platforms.

Well, they’re grabbing headlines again. Sadly, it’s for all of the wrong reasons.

This month, it was revealed that over a billion Android users were susceptible to an SMS vulnerability. The exploit, which could allow malicious hackers to gain access to a trove of services – including all of a user’s emails.

It’s a simple attack, too. According to Artyom Skrobov and Slava Makkaveev, authors of the report, the attack takes advantage of a process called over-the-air provisioning. The process is usually used by operators to send out settings to new phones that have joined their network.

This isn’t the only time that SMS messages made the headlines this week, either. Twitter has also just disabled tweeting via SMS in a majority of countries because of a hack carried out on their CEO, Jack Dorsey.

It may sound comical, but all the hackers apparently needed was Dorsey’s phone number. With that in hand, they were able to use messages to post on his account without logging in.

Other cybersecurity headlines

Over 600,000 GPS trackers have a terrible default password

The first of these include a revelation that 600,000 GPS trackers made in China had the default password of ‘123456’. If this was not changed, then anyone could gain access to people’s location in real-time. The trackers have been used in multiple continents. ­

City stands defiant against ransomware attack

On a more positive front, it’s been reported that the city of New Bedford in Massachusetts has shown defiance to a hacker group holding them hostage with ransomware. Instead of paying them $5.3 million, Mayor Jon Mitchell has opted to try to restore what they could from backups.

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TeamRed
TeamRed