A security measure initially designed to help protect internet users is now a threat to online banking accounts.
According to the Daily Mail, all it takes is access to a two-step login verification for a skilled hacker to steal access codes to bank accounts, including yours.
The system, known as SS7 (Signal System 7), routes calls and texts for mobile networks worldwide. Hackers are now intercepting these messages and gaining access to codes that are used by customers to verify their identities when logging into an account.
This means any SMS message you send out could be used to get information regarding your personal bank account, and since most banks use this two-step method, anyone can be affected.
U.S. legislators are now trying to crack down on the flawed system, following several incidents of SS7 hacking in Germany.
“Everyone’s accounts protected by text-based, two-factor authentication, such as bank accounts, are potentially at risk until the FCC and telecom industry fix the devastating SS7 security flaw,” said Congressman Ted W Lieu. “Both the FCC and telecom industry have been aware that hackers can acquire our text messages and phone conversations just knowing our cell phone number. It is unacceptable the FCC and telecom industry have not acted sooner to protect our privacy and financial security.”
One thing you can control to help protect your information is having a strong password and different passwords for each of your accounts. Hackers cannot gain access to anything without this information, and if they access one of your passwords, there is a slim chance they will know your second password unless you keep them the same for all accounts.
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