The Vulnerability in Two-Factor Authorization Exposed by Phone Scammers

How phone scammers are breaking two-factor authorization

Online banking is supposed to be completely safe with 2-factor authorization being a mandatory requirement since the beginning of 2021. However, scammers are still managing to steal money from people. Instead of trying to crack the authentication procedures, they are targeting humans and using psychological tricks on account holders to gain access to their accounts. This is achieved through phishing, which allows the criminals to access the bank accounts of their victims and obtain their personal details.

The scammers also take advantage of financial institutions that lower their security requirements to the legal minimum and only ask for the second factor every 90 days. The reasoning behind this is often justified by claims of customer friendliness or to avoid imposing too many hurdles on customers to use the online banking service.

As part of their research, the writers of c’t Online magazine trained to be fraudsters and watched as others attempted to scam them. They found that fraudulent telephone calls were one of the most common methods used by scammers to target victims.

One particularly successful approach is to impersonate the victim’s bank and pretend to be calling to prevent the theft of their money. The scammers then request that the victim transfer their money to a “secure” account provided by them. They also put the victim under pressure, claiming that if they do not cooperate, their account will be frozen.

Unfortunately, it seems that scammers have become more knowledgeable and sophisticated in their methods, which makes them even harder to detect. The key takeaway is that anyone can be targeted by these scammers and it is vital to protect personal information by not giving out any details to anyone over the phone or online.

It’s important for financial institutions to improve their security measures, especially when it comes to safeguarding their customers’ personal information. While it may be tempting to prioritize customer friendliness, banks need to find a balance between security and convenience to ensure a safe and positive user experience.

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