Sharp SIM-Swapping Spike Causes $68M in Losses

Sharp SIM-Swapping Spike Causes _68M in Losses-01

SIM-swapping – the practice of duping mobile carriers into switching a target’s phone services to an attacker-controlled phone – is on the rise, the Feds are warning – leading to millions in losses for consumers who found their bank accounts drained and other accounts taken over.

Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) are small chips inside mobile phones that allow the carrier to identify and register subscriber devices – a requirement to provide service to them. Most SIM-swapping attacks take the form of social engineering, where criminals impersonate victims and convince customer-service agents to change over victims’ services to new phones that they control.

The epidemic of large-scale data breaches also contributes to the gambit’s high rate of success, according to Chris Clements, vice president of solutions architecture at Cerberus Sentinel.

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