We can say that any device we use, any service or program, may suffer a security problem at any given time. That is why we must always keep all computers protected, have updates and programs that help us avoid malware. Yet hackers are constantly looking for a way to attack. In this article we are going to talk about what methods they can use to attack a SIM card . It is something that could seriously compromise our privacy.
The SIM card, a target for cybercriminals
Something fundamental for our day to day, to be able to connect to the Internet from the mobile, is the SIM card. This small device has our personal data linked, a number and, in turn, serves to register multiple services and platforms.
For example we can mention the use of two-step authentication . More and more programs that we use frequently and that need to confirm our identity through a message in which they send us a code. A way to verify that we really are the legitimate user.
This causes hackers to set their sights here. If they manage to hack a SIM card, if they manage to take control of our mobile number, they will be able to access many services. This can serve to steal data and compromise our privacy.
How they can attack a SIM
To attack a SIM card they can use different methods. We have already indicated that cybercriminals are constantly updating and looking for new ways to achieve their goal. It is important to know which ones are the main ones in order to protect ourselves and avoid making mistakes that could affect us.
One of the most common methods used by hackers to attack a SIM card is what is known as SIM Swapping. It is a card spoofing fraud. Basically what the attacker does is get the operator to transfer a phone number to another device.
For this to happen, the attackers will have to collect personal information from the victim. At the end of the day what they are going to do is go through them. They are going to pretend to be a customer requesting to transfer their number. This can be obtained through a previous Phishing attack, in which they collect all kinds of personal data that they will need.
Later you will contact the operator to request that change . It will give the data and it will indicate that the mobile has been stolen or lost and that therefore you need a new SIM card.
This problem can affect any user. It is therefore very important to prevent our data from being available on the Internet to anyone. We must always protect personal information, use security tools and of course common sense so that data is not leaked on the Internet.
Another technique they can use to attack a card is what is known as a SIMjacker . In this case they will be based on an existing vulnerability. It is something that appeared a few years ago and that affected certain users.
The attacker is going to send a text message with a code . Should the victim open it, the hacker could exploit that vulnerability. You could use it to spy on device usage, such as reading SMS or monitoring calls.
There are some carriers that use a SIM application toolkit. For example, an integrated browser to be able to access the network at any given time. It is just this kit that can exploit this type of attack. Of course, as long as it is vulnerable.
However, it is a very specific attack that affected certain users and operators. Nowadays the truth is that most use other browsers and it is rare that they are affected by problems like this. Of course, it is another question to take into account.
Physical cloning of the card
Without a doubt another way they can use is the physical cloning of the card. It basically means that an attacker is going to create a second SIM identical to the main one. For this they will have to physically access that card and copy it.
Once this is done, the attacker will be able to use the copied card as if it were us. You would have access to the messages, so you could bypass the two-step authentication. It is an undoubtedly important problem.
What to do to avoid attacks on the SIM card
We have seen some methods that they could use to attack our SIM card. It is something that logically puts our privacy at risk and could allow a third party to access personal data and information. We are now going to see some steps to take into account to protect ourselves.
Common sense and avoiding mistakes
Without a doubt, the most important thing is always going to be common sense . We must avoid mistakes that may affect our security. For example, we must avoid clicking on links that come to us by SMS and that we do not really know if they are safe or not. It is a method that they used for SIMjacking attacks, as we have seen.
Therefore, we must always keep common sense in mind, reduce the possibility that an attacker may interfere with the proper functioning of the equipment and, ultimately, achieve the best possible protection.
Always use a secure PIN code
Another very important issue is to use a good PIN code that protects our device. In case of theft or loss of the device, something that can prevent identity theft attacks, being able to access our accounts, is to have a password.
This, although it could be exploited by brute force and other methods, at least gives us enough time to lock the SIM. It is undoubtedly a protection, a safety barrier, that cannot be missing. We should never use a simple PIN code, such as 1234.
Be careful where we take to fix the mobile
We have also talked about the physical cloning of a SIM card. In this case, the attacker will have physical access to that card in order to clone it. One possibility is that, when taking the mobile to repair to a store, they could attack us in this way. This means that we must always be aware of where we send our mobile for repair, especially if we decide to opt for Internet pages where they do not really offer guarantees.
Protect the device
This is a general thing to avoid any type of attack. We must always keep our devices safe. This means that we are going to use security programs to avoid malware, have strong passwords and any tool that can help us increase security.
Ultimately, these are some methods that they can use to attack a SIM card. Luckily it is not a very common problem, although it is true that there have been cases. It is therefore advisable to know how to protect ourselves.