As part of our continuing BASIC SECURITY FOUNDATION for our families. Today we are going to discuss CELL PHONE SIM SWAPS.
CELL PHONE TAKE-OVERS – SIM CARD SWAP
So what is a SIM CARD SWAP?
Most cell phones function via a small computer chip called a SIM CARD that is inserted inside your cell phone. It is basically, the “hard drive” of your cell phone; without the SIM CARD, your phone is dead to you.
Organized Crime and other criminal opportunist have figured out that if they can take control of your cell phone they have basically, taken control of your life! Imagine, if a bad guy were to take over your phone, what information would they have? Social Media Accounts, Banking, Contacts, Photos, etc…..
HERE IS HOW IT WORKS
SIM CARD Swap is not new. It has been around for awhile but it has been occurring at alarming rates. We have investigate several cases related to SIM SWAPS. The most common ways for a SIM CARD SWAP to occur is the BAD GUY calls up your cell phone carrier and pretends to be you. Bad Guy obtains your personal information via OSINT (Open Source Intelligence). He has your name, address, DOB, Cell Phone Number, etc.
Bad Guy now calls your Cell Phone Carrier with all of your information and pretends to be you. Once the BAD GUY is able to convince the $12/Hour employee that he is now YOU……… HE IS IN! BAD GUY states that he had “lost” his phone (insert any other excuse here) and he needs to “switch” to his new phone. Employee asks for the NEW SIM CARD number, which BAD GUY provides from his “new phone” and bingo…. Your phone number and all of it’s contents is now on the BAD GUYS phone.
You might be saying…….it’s ok, I am “tech savvy” I have TWO FACTOR authentication. My accounts are safe? But are they really???? Is your TWO-FACTOR authentication via SMS Text? Remember, BAD GUY has access to your phone now. So if your Social Media, Banking Accounts, don’t recognize the “new device” and require you to enter the “pin number” for account verification. The “pin number” is sent to BAD GUY’s phone now, which is your phone number on record. HE IS NOW IN….. and begins to wreak havoc on your life. Steal your money, Extort, Post Criminal Threats on your social media accounts, etc..
There is a current lawsuit pending right now against AT&T for a gentleman who was a victim of a SIM SWAP and claimed that he lost $23 Million in Bitcoin.
So how do we protect ourselves….. Tough question here. If all of your information is out on the internet, but here are some steps you need to take today.
- PASSWORD – All Cell phone carriers offer a “password” option to be placed on your account but it has to be activated by you. Place a PASSWORD on your account today…. And please make it a good one.
- IDENTIFICATION – This is a step above the password option but it can be a pain in the butt if you make a lot of changes to your account. All of the major carriers have this option. You tell the carrier that ANY and ALL changes to your account have to made in-person at the store with proof of a valid Identification and a Password. This is by far the best way to protect yourself.
- TWO FACTOR IDENTIFICATION – sure SMS two-factor identification is good but it is NOT GREAT. There are several better TWO-FACTOR identification applications that are far better. The most popular is GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR. I am not a huge Google Fan because they track everything you do, but go ahead and get it!
This is just one case of SIM SWAPPING. It’s a huge problem so protect yourself today!
IMPORTANT – I am SWAPPING (no pun intended here) the closed Facebook Group to a Facebook Page. It will make it easier for me to get you content. So please click on the link below, and you have to “LIKE” the page to get the information.
Click Here and “LIKE” the page… VIRTUAL CYBER COP PAGE