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What Are SIM Card Attacks and How Can You Stop Them?

Sean Jackson

Sean Jackson

What Are SIM Card Attacks and How Can You Stop Them?
Sean Jackson

Sean Jackson

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There’s no doubt scammers are becoming inventive in their quest for personal information. One of the more uncommon ways they can gain access to your data is through SIM card attacks.

What Are SIM Card Attacks?

Thieves gain access to your information through SIM card swaps. How do they do it? By contacting your cell phone provider and asking them to transfer your phone number to a SIM card they own.

From there, they can read your text messages, phone calls, and other data easily. However, that isn’t the biggest detriment to becoming a victim of SIM card attacks.

The real reason for hackers to do this is to use two-factor authentication to get into your personal accounts. Remember, if you set up two-factor authentication with your bank or a payment service such as PayPal, they can text you a code if you forgot your password. This allows the hacker to gain access to the account by reading your emails to reset your account’s password.

What if you don’t have two-factor authentication for your online banking? No problem for a skilled hacker. According to Wired, they can use your cell phone to trick companies into providing your password. And once they gain access to your accounts, they can steal your money, your identity, and even target those you regularly contact through malware deployments.

How Do I Stop SIM Card Attacks?

While there aren’t one-size fits all security solutions, researchers have found setting a PIN on your cellular account is one obstacle you would be wise to use. Most cell phone providers give you the option to set up a PIN-this a number based code ranging from four digits up to eight. Anytime you speak with the cellular provider, you must provide that code for verification. Because of this, it makes it more difficult for hackers to switch your phone number to their SIM cards.

Furthermore, you can adopt other more severe measures to protect your information. Allison Nixon, a threat researcher with Flashpoint told Wired, “If there’s one thing you have you know a thief would go after like your bank account or your username on social media, keep that account separate from the rest of your online identity. If you’re extra paranoid, you can keep that phone number secret. I know that’s kind of over the top, but some people who try to protect themselves from this attack vector try things like that.”

What Are Signs of a SIM Card Attack?

One way to see if you’ve fallen victim is to watch your cell phone’s behavior. If your phone has trouble working or won’t send text messages, it’s imperative to contact your cell phone provider immediately. Similar to other hacks, the sooner you act the more likely you are to reduce the damage wrought by hackers.

Meanwhile, if your data becomes compromised, there are affordable solutions available. The team at SALVAGEDATA has the tools and expertise to recover your data quickly. And with more than 40 locations nationwide, we’re closer than you think. Contact us today to learn more!