Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

12/20/2018
12:10 PM
50%
50%

Hackers Bypass Gmail, Yahoo 2FA at Scale

A new Amnesty International report explains how cyberattackers are phishing second-factor authentication codes sent via SMS.

Amnesty International this week released a report detailing how hackers can automatically bypass multifactor authentication (MFA) when the second factor is a text message, and they're using this tactic to break into Gmail and Yahoo accounts at scale.

MFA is generally recommended; however, its security varies depending on the chosen factor. Consumers prefer second-factor codes sent via text messages because they're easy to access. Unfortunately for some, cybercriminals like them for the same reason.

Amnesty discovered several credential phishing campaigns, likely run by the same attacker, targeting hundreds of individuals across the Middle East and North Africa. One campaign went after Tutanota and ProtonMail accounts; another hit hundreds of Google and Yahoo users. The latter was a targeted phishing campaign designed to steal text-based second-factor codes.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists from the Middle East and North Africa shared suspicious emails with Amnesty, which reports most of this campaign's targets seem to come from the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Egypt, and Palestine.

Most targets initially receive a fake security alert warning them of potential account compromise and instructing them to change their password. It's a simple scheme but effective with HRDs, who have to be on constant high alert for physical and digital security.

From there, targets are sent to a convincing but fake Google or Yahoo site to enter their credentials; then they are redirected to a page where they learn they've been sent a two-step verification code. Entering the code presents them with a password reset form. Most people wouldn't question a password change prompt from Google as it seems legitimate.

Attackers automate the full process: getting victims to log into their email accounts, obtaining the two-factor code, and prompting them to change their passwords.

It's worth noting text-based authentication is mostly unsafe for high-risk people because attackers have to pick a specific target. For corporate leaders and other folks holding sensitive data, it's worth exploring stronger methods of MFA, such as physical security keys.

Read more details here.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Greater Focus on Privacy Pays Off for Firms
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  1/27/2020
Average Ransomware Payments More Than Doubled in Q4 2019
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/27/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-2099
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-29
Jenkins 2.213 and earlier, LTS 2.204.1 and earlier improperly reuses encryption key parameters in the Inbound TCP Agent Protocol/3, allowing unauthorized attackers with knowledge of agent names to obtain the connection secrets for those agents, which can be used to connect to Jenkins, impersonating ...
CVE-2020-2100
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-29
Jenkins 2.218 and earlier, LTS 2.204.1 and earlier was vulnerable to a UDP amplification reflection denial of service attack on port 33848.
CVE-2020-2101
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-29
Jenkins 2.218 and earlier, LTS 2.204.1 and earlier did not use a constant-time comparison function for validating connection secrets, which could potentially allow an attacker to use a timing attack to obtain this secret.
CVE-2020-2102
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-29
Jenkins 2.218 and earlier, LTS 2.204.1 and earlier used a non-constant time comparison function when validating an HMAC.
CVE-2020-2103
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-29
Jenkins 2.218 and earlier, LTS 2.204.1 and earlier exposed session identifiers on a user's detail object in the whoAmI diagnostic page.