It's remarkable that nowadays we can walk around with what is in essence a supercomputer in our pockets. Capable of countless tasks, for many of us going without a smartphone is like losing a limb. Giving us unlimited knowledge and features just a few taps away, it comes as no surprise that hackers are now moving in on our mobile phones.
Since 2015, a new form of hacking has emerged aimed at SIM cards. Known as 'SIM Splitting', this hack is part of a wider fraud operation that seeks to acquire bundles of personal information for nefarious purposes. Greater vigilance is needed to kerb this trend in 2017.
As the name suggests, this scam aims to transfer your phone number onto a fresh SIM. The process is simple in itself but involves several steps. Here's what to watch out for:
Banks are aware of SIM splitting and in March last year, Natwest admitted that its systems were at risk and have since taken steps to secure its infrastructure. But, as with most scams, it's possible to reduce the chance that you'll become a victim.
For the scam to be successful, hackers need access to personal information. According to the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, this is usually achieved through purchasing a victim's details from organised crime networks, which harvest your information via Trojan malware, and by scraping it from the public domain (social media). Your best defence is therefore to defend these potential access routes through:
So whilst you might have a whole host of defences guarding your computer, don't neglect to protect your mobile as well. If you've got personal data on your phone then it's just another opportunity for hackers to break in and swipe your data, especially as they know it's something people often overlook. Take the same precautions you would with any other electric device that holds personal information and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity!
This is a guest post from Immervox, a business telecoms solutions provider specialising in VoIP, Mobile, Data and Cloud
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