Almost every aspect of your life gets processed through your cell phone, making phones a viable target for malicious activity. Much of your business and personal life is likely to end up on your mobile devices, which makes the sim card of your phone highly valuable to attackers. Stay up-to-date with the most likely types of invasion found in 2021 and you will never find out what one sim card can do.
Simjacker Attacks & Malicious SMS Text Messages
The most recent way that attackers have started using to access sim cards is through the “simjacker method”. For the past few years, hackers have exploited a browsing software found in most sim cards (S@T Browser) by sending a malicious text containing the simjacker code. Once opened, the SMS messages containing simjacker code utilize the software to export sensitive information to an alternate device. Many mobile operators fall into the simjacker attack and never realize that their data has been hacked by people in other countries. Not only do simjacker victims have their personal information jeopardized, but they also let this spyware-like code install instructions that the sim card will carry out, letting the attacker continue accessing the information until something disrupts their access.
The most efficient procedure that you can use to prevent this so-called simjacker process is to avoid malicious SMS messages at all costs. If you do not recognize text messages, you should probably just delete them, because it can be very challenging to undo the damage caused by clicking that harmless-looking link.
Sim Swapping Through Your Network Provider
Believe it or not, this highly-simple tactic has been used to breach the sim cards of public figures and regular citizens alike. For this hacking technique, all hackers really have to do is call your mobile phone provider and request a new sim card due to issues or a device upgrade. While it will not always work, the attack begins as soon as your provider relinquishes a new sim card to the malicious party. If these attacks are successful, the other party is able to assume control over phone numbers from other countries!
To mitigate your risk of a sim swapping invasion, utilize two-factor authentication codes whenever possible. While the process of verifying and re-verifying for any important decisions can be a hassle, the extra effort will also deter your phone from becoming a target device. The idea is to never let attackers gain access to your sim card or any other personal information, and the SMS message that you have to pull a code from could save your data security one day.
Sim Cloning From Your Physical Location
There is something additionally disturbing about a sim cloning attack, as this is the only popular sim card spying method that requires physical access to phones. With a sim toolkit and sim card reader, they can copy your information onto a blank sim card before you know it. Once sim cards are copied, they can be used to access much more than one would think, including your text messages, phone calls, data exchanges, hack your social media accounts, and potentially gain access to your bank account balance and financial information. For a multitude of reasons, it is important to safeguard sim cards. The cumulative population does not have to worry about a sim cloning attack, but it is still good practice to keep tabs on your phone and deny hackers physical access to your phone.
What To Do When Sim Cards Are Breached
If your sim card has been compromised, your next steps should depend on what you have granted hackers access to. If there is little value to the information on your phone, then it may be sufficient to replace the sim card and move on with caution, but that’s not always the case. If you have been subjected to a serious invasion of privacy through a sim card attack, contact cyber security professionals and have them evaluate your situation. They will give you more details on your situation and work towards finding the hacker. While cyber security specialists cannot enforce legal or civil penalties, their services can help you find more information on the malicious party and supply you with the means to do so yourself.
Whether the hacking attempt comes in the form of a SMS message, sim card swap, or physical cloning, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the attacker’s efforts. When possible, apply a two-factor authentication process to your phone and accounts, be wary of suspicious messages, and keep your phone secured physically. In the event that you are a victim of sim card hacking, don’t wait to seek help.