November 15, 2012
SMS is not the issue with fraudulent bank transfers, telcos are: Experts
Despite its widespread use, SMS technology has lost its luster as a safe means of verifying the identity of an individual during a banking transaction. Armnet reports.
This is what the lobby group for Australian telcos is claiming in the wake of a recent fraud incident.
The said incident involved an Australian family who had $35,000 stolen from a bank account following an identity theft.
In this case, the victim had their mobile number ported to another provider without their apparent knowledge or approval.
This action allowed the criminal to then change the bank PIN and withdraw $35,000 before a stop was put on the breached account.
The identity theft was eventually traced back to key logging malware on the victim’s PC that recorded the account details, and since one-use SMS access codes for the account are required, the criminal then used the acquired details to port the phone number to another account.
While the lobby group and consumers may be up in arms about the perceived security of SMS, SecurEnvoy CTO, Andy Kemshall, said the real issue is not the security of the mobile technology.
Instead, he lays the blame at the ease that Australian telcos allow hackers to request a number be ported to another phone, as highlighted in the recent incident.
“This has far wider consequences than just SMS, as a hacker can setup a premium rate call line and run-up extortionate bills by calling these numbers after porting over the number,” Kemshall said.
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