Nov 15, 2021

SMS verification scams. Don't expose yourself | Onlinesim

SMS authentication, also called 2FA and OTP, allows the user to verify their own identity by means of a code sent in a text message. SMS authentication is part of 2-factor authentication as a second user verification factor. It is done to gain access to the network, application, system, sites, and so on. The user authentication process itself is considered a significant first step to increase security.

We should add that SMS authentication has been a weak point of user SMS verification online lately. Why is this the case, and what is the principle of SMS authentication? Let's consider this question in more detail.

How does SMS authentication work?

As soon as a user logs in, he receives a text message which contains an SMS authentication code. To access it, you need to enter the received code in the application or website, where this confirmation is necessary. For example, the same way you have to confirm your identity on Facebook, Google (in other words, google phone authentication), Twitter, and other popular sites.

The user's identity authentication itself is performed via the cell phone to add security level. In theory, to gain unauthorized access to an account, an attacker needs to steal the user's password with his cell phone number. Posting your phone number on a public forum can quickly get you into a dangerous situation. More risk of this type of fraud falls on gaining access to the user's cell phone account if hackers get the SMS information they need.

Benefits of SMS authentication

Reasons why users continue to trust and use SMS authentication:

  • It's more secure than using passwords. The fact is that any password can be cracked, and people often forget them and use the same password on multiple sites. A hacker who breaks into accounts can gain access to all user accounts. Using SMS authentication, which minimizes reliance on passwords, can make it harder for hackers to hack and steal accounts.
  • It's convenient. SMS authentication saves users from having to remember several different passwords for sites. Such hassle can be eliminated, as SMS authentication sends only unique codes to the specified phone numbers of users for remote confirmation of identity.
  • 2FA. Confirming your identity through more than one method looks safer, so SMS authentication is really a safe alternative.
  • A false myth is that phone book apps require a lot of work. On the contrary, installing such an application will get rid of unnecessary hassle (e.g., a second SIM card or a call from your smartphone).

Disadvantages of SMS authentication

Although this authentication process is very convenient and straightforward, there are still certain disadvantages of data protection:

  • The SIM card spoofing possibility. The process of sending an authentication code to the phone number is secure, but intruders can over-sensitize such a SMS. Not to face such practice is possible if you use OnlineSim service, which provides temporary phone numbers for free for authentication on any sites. We will talk about the benefits of OnlineSim a little later.
  • Possibility of breaking SIM-card. Attackers can spoof cell tower signals and SS7 systems to look at the data contained in personal SMS. However, it is worth noting that this type of fraud is complicated and happens very rarely.
  • Lost/synchronized devices. People can permanently lose their mobile devices, which contain login data for social media accounts and banking applications. Synchronized devices allow attackers to take advantage of a user's shared SMS information, synchronized between a smartphone, laptop, and tablet.
  • Bill Capture. Most wireless service providers allow users to view text SMS online accounts on their sites. When accounts are not securely protected, hackers quickly gain access to them.
  • Social engineering attacks. Phishing is now spreading to both mobile devices and PCs. The principle behind social engineering attacks is to present the attacker as a trusted organization, trying to convince its target to provide personal SMS data and passwords.

How did scammers work?

In most cases, scammers' targets are on online forums, such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Reddit, where you have to provide your real or fake number for verification. The scammers then contact their target, assuring them that to circumvent all sorts of problems, they need to send a verification code, which users will have to tell them. Wanting to sell their product, the user sends to scammers the code from the text SMS they receive.

The scammer doesn't send the authentication code because it's the service that sends the code after the registration request or the password reset from the grailed scam. If the user sends the code back, the scammer uses it for his purposes.

In order to protect yourself, never engage in sending authentication SMS codes to people who don't send you anything on your phone, even though they prove it.

SMS Authentication Security

Many SMS attacks and security issues open the door for hackers who can use small amounts of data to hijack a user's cell phone, identity, and access to their credentials.

The security risks discussed above have been an essential topic of discussion for years. However, SMS for 2FA is still being used by many companies. SMS authentication is easy to implement and use, so people use it to access different applications. End-users need to get authentication quickly and without problems, so SMS is an ideal solution for this purpose.

An alternative to authentication

Mobile authenticator apps function like SMS authentication. The user logs in to the app/site where they use their username and password. The authenticator app then generates an OTP or sends a push notification where you have to accept or decline the login request. The generated code expires in a couple of minutes if not entered in time.

Privacy of personal data with OnlineSim

OnlineSIM is a virtual phone number call service. Its virtual directories work like regular numbers. Private phone numbers from OnlineSIM are perfect for:

  • account registering;
  • confirming SMS registration in various apps;
  • usage while traveling to other states;
  • security of your privacy;
  • business needs;
  • protection from spam etc.

For authentication in different services, it is worth using the OnlineSim service. This verified site helps users get virtual numbers that receive authentication codes without using their actual phone numbers.

Privacy of personal information is a critical component of the Internet today. Every user needs to keep personal SMS information private so that it does not become public. The problem, however, is that many users are unaware that they are unintentionally sharing their data. That's why there is a service called OnlineSim.

The site's database has more than 10,000 virtual phone numbers from more than 30 countries. The service is easy to use, and all the information on the site is intuitive. The paid version of using OnlineSim services involves paying to receive SMS per location or renting a number to receive SMS.

OnlineSim is ideal for those who need to have another verifiable phone number. Not every service manages to distribute its services to so many countries. For example, the site works in Russia, the United States of America, the Philippines, Australia, the UK, Ukraine, Finland, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Norway, Kazakhstan, Germany, Ireland, and others. It is convenient to use the service if the user conducts business in different countries.

OnlineSim works without crashes. It should be remembered that using free applications of the same subject matter is a risk that can result in the loss of all data in the worst case. When choosing between applications to identify a second phone number, pay attention to what data the application collects. Read the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions carefully, so you don't fall for the bait of a dubious service. These situations are very frustrating, especially if you need to create multiple accounts. Use OnlineSim phone numbers if you do not want to worry about the possible consequences.