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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/27/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8603
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
A cross-site scripting vulnerability (XSS) in Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 6.5 may allow a remote attacker to tamper with the web interface of affected installations. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or ...
CVE-2020-8604
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
A vulnerability in Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 6.5 may allow remote attackers to disclose sensitive informatoin on affected installations.
CVE-2020-8605
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
A vulnerability in Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 6.5 may allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations. Authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability.
CVE-2020-8606
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
A vulnerability in Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 6.5 may allow remote attackers to bypass authentication on affected installations of Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance.
CVE-2020-11075
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-27
In Anchore Engine version 0.7.0, a specially crafted container image manifest, fetched from a registry, can be used to trigger a shell escape flaw in the anchore engine analyzer service during an image analysis process. The image analysis operation can only be executed by an authenticated user via a...