With the breach of Reddit being disclosed this week, it’s key to remember the importance of robust cybersecurity, given that the hacker of the site was able to bypass 2FA. The actor was able to do this by using a method called ‘SMS intercept’ which is when the hacker is able to receive the text that contains the code for authentication. One way this is done is by SIM-swap, which is when the attacker convinces the phone provider that he is the target and applies their service to a new SIM card. Another method of attack is when bad actor impersonates the target and tricks the phone provider into transferring the target’s number to a new provider where the attacker is then able to access any 2FA codes coming into the phone.
A more secure alternative to SMS 2FA is app-based authentication through organizations such as Duo, which is not subject to the same vectors of attack. Stay vigilant out there, because SMS-intercept attacks are going to become more and more prevalent as they have been shown to be successful, and publicly too considering Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the internet.
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