Pay attention to your username and password. It often happens that hackers manage to get their hands on those of unsuspecting users. It is for this reason that cybersecurity experts recommend using different passwords for each platform or using two-factor authentication which requires using an additional method to log into an account, such as validation of an SMS, a biometric sensor or the creation of a one-time password. Two-factor authentication is supposed to provide a higher level of security by preventing hackers from accessing an account if they only have the password. Microsoft has recently announced that it wants to do away with passwords in the long term.
Unfortunately, hackers manage to hijack this security system in order to gain access to their victim's bank details and extract thousands of euros from them.
Intel 471 researchers have observed since June an increase in the number of bots exploiting the Telegram messaging service to offer security bypass services.
The network is used both to control bots and to allow cybercriminals to communicate with each other.
“In these support channels, users share their successes related to using the bot and often walking away with thousands of dollars from victim accounts,” the researchers describe.
BloodOTPbot and SMSRanger
In their report, the researchers focused on two bots in particular: SMSRanger and BloodOTPbot. The interface and controls of SMSRanger are very similar to how the Slack collaborative communication platform works, which makes it particularly easy to use for novices. It can be used to target PayPal, Google Play or even Apple Pay. BloodOTPbot is an SMS-based bot. It can be used to create automatic calls by pretending to be a bank and asking users to provide them with the one-time passwords to access their account.
Although programming knowledge is required to create bots, it is much lighter than creating malware.
In addition, Telegram bots can be rented already configured, making it even easier for apprentice hackers.
“These bots show that some forms of two-factor authentication can have their own security risks,” Intel 471 researchers warn. “Although one-time password services based on SMS and phone calls are better than nothing, criminals have found ways to circumvent the protective measures.
Finally, it is important to remember that banks never ask their members for passwords by phone, SMS or email.
If you find yourself faced with calls or messages asking you to provide them with passcodes, this is for sure a scam.
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