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
Microsoft Patches Wormable RCE Vulns in Remote Desktop Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/13/2019
The Mainframe Is Seeing a Resurgence. Is Security Keeping Pace?
Ray Overby, Co-Founder & President at Key Resources, Inc.,  8/15/2019
GitHub Named in Capital One Breach Lawsuit
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15150
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
In the OAuth2 Client extension before 0.4 for MediaWiki, a CSRF vulnerability exists due to the OAuth2 state parameter not being checked in the callback function.
CVE-2017-18550
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in drivers/scsi/aacraid/commctrl.c in the Linux kernel before 4.13. There is potential exposure of kernel stack memory because aac_get_hba_info does not initialize the hbainfo structure.
CVE-2017-18551
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in drivers/i2c/i2c-core-smbus.c in the Linux kernel before 4.14.15. There is an out of bounds write in the function i2c_smbus_xfer_emulated.
CVE-2017-18552
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in net/rds/af_rds.c in the Linux kernel before 4.11. There is an out of bounds write and read in the function rds_recv_track_latency.
CVE-2018-20976
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in fs/xfs/xfs_super.c in the Linux kernel before 4.18. A use after free exists, related to xfs_fs_fill_super failure.