The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: sms hacking

'Legit Apps Turned into Spyware' Targeting Android Users in Middle East

'Legit Apps Turned into Spyware' Targeting Android Users in Middle East
June 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers are warning about an ongoing Android malware campaign that has been active since 2016 and was first publicly reported in August 2018. Dubbed " ViceLeaker " by researchers at Kaspersky, the campaign has recently been found targeting Israeli citizens and some other middle eastern countries with a powerful surveillance malware designed to steal almost all accessible information, including call recordings, text messages, photos, videos, and location data—all without users' knowledge. Besides these traditional spying functionalities, the malware also has backdoor capabilities including upload, download, and delete files, record surrounding audio, takeover camera, and make calls or send messages to specific numbers. The malware used in these campaigns was named " Triout " in a report published by Bitdefender in 2018, which is sort of a malware framework that attackers are using to turn legitimate applications into spyware by inject

Unprotected VOIP Server Exposed Millions of SMS Messages, Call Logs

Unprotected VOIP Server Exposed Millions of SMS Messages, Call Logs
January 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
A California-based Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) services provider VOIPO has accidentally left tens of gigabytes of its customer data, containing millions of call logs, SMS/MMS messages, and plaintext internal system credentials, publicly accessible to anyone without authentication. VOIPo is one of a leading providers of Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) services in the United States offering reseller VoIP, Cloud VoIP, and VoIP services to residentials and small businesses. Justin Paine , the head of Trust & Safety at CloudFlare, discovered an open ElasticSearch database last week using the Shodan search engine and notified the VOIPO's CTO, who then promptly secured the database that contains at least 4 years of data on its customers. According to Paine, the database contained 6.7 million call logs dating back to July 2017, 6 million SMS/MMS logs dating back to December 2015, and 1 million logs containing API key for internal systems. While the call logs included timestamp and duration o

Instagram Adds 3 New Security Tools to Make its Platform More Secure

Instagram Adds 3 New Security Tools to Make its Platform More Secure
August 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Instagram is growing quickly—and with the second most popular social media network in the world (behind just Facebook), the photo-sharing network absolutely dominates when it comes to user interactions. And with great success comes great responsibility—responsibility to keep users' accounts safe, responsibility to fight fake accounts and news, and responsibility of being transparent. You might know that the Facebook-owned photo-sharing network has recently been a victim of a widespread hacking campaign that has affected thousands of Instagram users, leaving them locked out of their accounts. In the wake of the security mishappening, Instagram has announced a trio of security updates intended to discourage trolls, stop misinformation, and make the platform a little safer for its one billion users. In an official blog post , titled "New Tools to Keep Instagram Safe," published by Instagram Co-Founder & CTO Mike Krieger on August 28, the company announced thr

Reddit Hacked – Emails, Passwords, Private Messages Stolen

Reddit Hacked – Emails, Passwords, Private Messages Stolen
August 02, 2018Mohit Kumar
Another day, another significant data breach. This time the victim is Reddit... seems someone is really pissed off with Reddit's account ban policy or bias moderators. Reddit social media network today announced that it suffered a security breach in June that exposed some of its users' data, including their current email addresses and an old 2007 database backup containing usernames and hashed passwords. According to Reddit, the unknown hacker(s) managed to gain read-only access to some of its systems that contained its users' backup data, source code, internal logs, and other files. In a post published to the platform Wednesday, Reddit Chief Technology Officer Christopher Slowe admitted that the hack was a serious one, but assured its users that the hackers did not gain access to Reddit systems. "[The attackers] were not able to alter Reddit information, and we have taken steps since the event to further lock down and rotate all production secrets and API k

New 4G LTE Network Attacks Let Hackers Spy, Track, Spoof and Spam

New 4G LTE Network Attacks Let Hackers Spy, Track, Spoof and Spam
March 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a set of severe vulnerabilities in 4G LTE protocol that could be exploited to spy on user phone calls and text messages, send fake emergency alerts, spoof location of the device and even knock devices entirely offline. A new research paper [ PDF ] recently published by researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa details 10 new cyber attacks against the 4G LTE wireless data communications technology for mobile devices and data terminals. The attacks exploit design weaknesses in three key protocol procedures of the 4G LTE network known as attach, detach, and paging. Unlike many previous research, these aren't just theoretical attacks. The researchers employed a systematic model-based adversarial testing approach, which they called LTEInspector , and were able to test 8 of the 10 attacks in a real testbed using SIM cards from four large US carriers. Authentication Synchronization Failure Attack Traceability Attack Nu

Telegram Hacked? Turn ON Important Security Settings to Secure your Private Chats

Telegram Hacked? Turn ON Important Security Settings to Secure your Private Chats
August 03, 2016Swati Khandelwal
We have heard a lot about data breaches nowadays. And if you think that switching to an encrypted messaging service may secure you and your data, then you may be wrong. No good deed today can help you protect yourself completely. Reuters and several media outlets are reporting that the phone numbers of 15 Million users in Iran and more than a dozen accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service have been compromised by Iranian hackers exploiting an SMS text message flaw. Telegram is a messaging app " with a focus on security " that promotes itself as an ultra secure instant messaging system as all data is end-to-end encrypted. The service claims to have 100 Million active subscribers. According to research conducted by two security researchers, Collin Anderson and Claudio Guarnieri, this attack has threatened the communications of activists, journalists and other people in Iran, where around 20 Million people use Telegram. The incident is even said to be the

How to Hack Facebook Account Just by Knowing Phone Number

How to Hack Facebook Account Just by Knowing Phone Number
June 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Hacking Facebook account is one of the major queries on the Internet today. It's hard to find — how to hack Facebook account or facebook messenger, but researchers found a way that can allow someone to hack Facebook account passwords with only the target's phone number and some resources. Yes, your Facebook profile can be hacked, no matter how strong your password is or how much extra security measures you have taken. No joke! Hackers with resources to exploit SS7 network can hack your Facebook login and all they need is your phone number. The weaknesses in the part of global telecom network SS7 that not only let hackers and spy agencies listen to personal phone calls and intercept SMSes on a potentially massive scale but also let them hijack social media accounts to which you have provided your phone number. SS7 or Signalling System Number 7 is a cell phone signaling protocol that is being used by more than 800 telecommunication operators worldwide to exchange i

Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages

Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages
October 28, 2015Khyati Jain
A large number of third-party Android apps have reportedly been discovered grabbing copies of all text messages received or sent to infected devices and sending them to the attackers' server. More than 63,000 Android applications use Taomike SDK – one of the biggest mobile advertisement solutions in China – to help developers display ads in their mobile apps and generate revenue. However, around 18,000 of these Android apps contains a malicious code that spy on users text messages, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks, who made the discovery . Taomike provides a Software Development Toolkit (SDK) and services to the Android app developers using which they can: Displaying advertisements to users Offer in-app purchases (IAPs) Android Apps Stealing SMS Messages Focussing on distributing the app and techniques for building revenue, "Not all apps that use the Taomike library steal SMS messages," security researchers said. The security

Wiko Mobiles Can be Remotely Crashed with a Text Message

Wiko Mobiles Can be Remotely Crashed with a Text Message
June 13, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A vulnerability has been identified in Wiko Mobiles that could allow anyone to remotely  force it to shut down abruptly with a text message only. Wiko is  a two-year-old French Mobile manufacturing company known for its cheapest mobiles and smartphones. French  blogger Korben reported that just by sending a  Short Message Service (SMS) with text  "="  (without the quotes) to Wiko mobiles could force them to restart and  knock them off a cellular network. He demonstrated the flaw in a video as shown below: He successfully tested Wiko Mobile flaw with official Android operating system and also reproduced it with custom Android ROM i.e. CyanogenMod, which concludes that the flaw could be in Wiko Mobile Hardware, rather than software. The Flaw was accidentally discovered by a reader, so currently we have no technical explanation that why Wiko mobiles can't behave equal as other smartphones do after receiving 'equal' symbol in SMS. If y

Twitter Enables Password Reset With SMS and Suspicious Login Notifications

Twitter Enables Password Reset With SMS and Suspicious Login Notifications
May 09, 2014Mohit Kumar
The popular social media site Twitter is rolling out a couple of new features to its login process to help users prevent their account in a more secure way and restore access to their account if they forget their accounts’ password. For tighten up the security measures Twitter is launching two factor authentication in its new password reset experience, making its users to reset their password in easier way and at the same time difficult for cybercriminals to log in to users’ accounts. " The new process lets you choose the email address or phone number associated with your account where you'd like us to send your reset information. That way, whether you've recently changed your phone number, or are traveling with limited access to your devices, or had an old email address connected to your Twitter account, you've got options ," Twitter said in a blogpost on Thursday. RESET TWITTER PASSWORD WITH SMS This new experience will let Twitter users to

CASH! CASH! Hacking ATM Machines with Just a Text Message

CASH! CASH! Hacking ATM Machines with Just a Text Message
March 25, 2014Mohit Kumar
As we reported earlier, Microsoft will stop supporting the Windows XP operating system after 8th April, apparently 95% of the world’s 3 million ATM machines are run on it.  Microsoft's decision to withdraw support for Windows XP  poses critical security threat to the economic infrastructure worldwide. MORE REASONS TO UPGRADE Security researchers at Antivirus firm Symantec claimed that hackers can exploit a weakness in Windows XP based ATMs, that allow them to withdraw cash simply by sending an SMS to compromised ATMs. " What was interesting about this variant of  Ploutus  was that it allowed  cybercriminals  to simply send an SMS to the compromised ATM, then walk up and collect the dispensed cash. It may seem incredible, but this technique is being used in a number of places across the world at this time. " researchers said. HARDWIRED Malware for ATMs According to researchers - In 2013, they detected a malware named Backdoor . Ploutus,  installed on ATMs in Mexico, wh

DROPOUTJEEP: NSA's Secret program to access any Apple iPhone, including microphone & camera

DROPOUTJEEP: NSA's Secret program to access any Apple iPhone, including microphone & camera
January 02, 2014Swati Khandelwal
In the era of Smartphones, Apple’s iPhone is the most popular device that exists, which itself gives the reason to target it. According to leaked documents shared by Security researcher  Jacob Appelbaum , a secret NSA program code named DROPOUTJEEP has nearly total access to the Apple’s iPhones, which uses “ modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. ” While giving the presentation at the Chaos Communications Congress (30C3) in Hamburg, Germany on Monday, Appelbaum revealed that NSA reportedly sniffing out every last bit of data from your iPhone. DROPOUTJEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS

Google Nexus phone vulnerable to SMS-based DOS attack

Google Nexus phone vulnerable to SMS-based DOS attack
November 30, 2013Mohit Kumar
Google’s Nexus Smartphones are vulnerable to SMS-based DOS attack , where an attacker can force it to restart, freeze, or lose network connection by sending a large number of special SMS messages to them. The vulnerability, discovered by Bogdan Alecu , a system administrator at Dutch IT services company Levi9, and affects all Android 4.x firmware versions on Google Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. The problem is with how the phones handle a special type of text message, known as a flash SMS. By sending around 30 Flash SMS ( Flash SMS is a type of message that normally is not stored by the system and does not trigger any audio alerts ) messages to Nexus phone an attacker can cause the phone to malfunction. He presented the vulnerability on Friday at the DefCamp security conference in Bucharest, Romania. In an email exchange with me, he said ' I was testing different message types and for the class 0 messages I noticed that the popup being displayed also adds an extra layer wh

Simple, but Critical vulnerability in Verizon Portal revealed users' SMS History

Simple, but Critical vulnerability in Verizon Portal revealed users' SMS History
October 21, 2013Mohit Kumar
A Security researcher discovered a critical privacy vulnerability on Verizon Wireless’s Web-based customer portal that allows anyone to download user’s SMS History and Numbers of other users he communicated with. Back in August, researcher ' Cody Collier ' found that a simple URL exploit could allow any subscriber to extract data using ' Download to SpreadSheet' function. To exploit, an attacker only needs to modify the subscriber’s phone number in the URL and this would give an attacker access to the SMS history to the targeted account. https://wbillpay.verizonwireless.com/vzw/accountholder/unbilledusage/UnbilledMessaging.action?d-455677-e=2&1548506v4671=1&mtn= 999999999 Where variable ' mtn ' within the URL defines the mobile number and an attacker just need to modify this. " Message details consist of: Date, Time, To, From, and Direction an SMS or MMS took place. With no user interaction, all that was required was a subscriber's phone nu

Android WebView vulnerability allows hacker to install malicious apps

Android WebView vulnerability allows hacker to install malicious apps
September 16, 2013Mohit Kumar
WebView is an essential component in Android and iOS. It enables applications to display content from online resources and simplifies task of performing a network request, parsing the data and rendering it. Today AVG Security expert reported a critical vulnerability in Android's WebView feature that allows an attacker to install malicious software, send SMSs and performing more tasks. WebView uses a number of APIs which can interact with the web contents inside WebView. So this allows the user to view a web application as a part of an ordinary Android application. Users can be infected when they click on a URL link using a vulnerable application that allows opening a Java enabled browser or web page. The commands in the JavaScript code can enable attackers to install malicious software, send SMSs, steal personal information and more. To exploit the flaw, attacker can trick users to click a malicious link from a vulnerable WebView application and which will

Vulnerability in USB Internet Modems allows hacker to access Millions of Computers remotely

Vulnerability in USB Internet Modems allows hacker to access Millions of Computers remotely
August 16, 2013Mohit Kumar
A USB Internet Modems or Data card, is a type of modem that allows your computer to receive Internet access using USB Port and connect to a GSM/CDMA network there by creating a PPPoE  ( Point to Point protocol over Ethernet) interface to your computer. Indian Security Researcher ' Rahul Sasi ' found a new Innovative critical flaw in these USB Internet Modems that allows an attacker to execute malicious code remotely, just via sending an SMS. While talking to ' The Hacker News ' , he claimed that the reported vulnerability  allows him to even hack computers remotely to gain the Meterpreter shell or  full access to the victim's PC. Vulnerability can be used by a malicious attacker for Mass exploitation, since these modems have a phone number which lies in a particular series, so all the phone numbers starting with xxxxxx1000 to xxxxxx2000 would be running a particular version of the USB modem software. USB Internet Modems are supplied with diale

Hacking Facebook Account with just a text message

Hacking Facebook Account with just a text message
June 27, 2013Mohit Kumar
Can you ever imagine that a single text message is enough to hack any Facebook account without user interaction or without using any other malicious stuff like Trojans, phishing , keylogger etc. ? Today we are going to explain you that how a UK based Security Researcher, " fin1te " is able to hack any Facebook account within a minute by doing one SMS. Because 90% of us are Facebook user too, so we know that there is an option of linking your mobile number with your account, which allows you to receive Facebook account updates via SMS directly to your mobile and also you can login into your account using that linked number rather than your email address or username. According to hacker , the loophole was in phone number linking process, or in technical terms, at file  /ajax/settings/mobile/confirm_phone.php This particular webpage works in background when user submit his phone number and verification code, sent by Facebook to mobile. That submission form h

Fake Lookout android app stealing your SMS and MMS messages

Fake Lookout android app stealing your SMS and MMS messages
October 19, 2012Mohit Kumar
Android’s App store is currently facing a new dilemma as its security has been compromised once again. Researchers from security firm TrustGo have recently spotted on Google Play a bogus app that supposedly automatizes the updating of a batch of other apps. The malicious code was hidden within an app named, "Updates" by developer Good Byte Labs (Package name: com.updateszxt) and was designed to look like an update to the Lookout™ mobile security application. The malware detected as Trojan!FakeLookout.A  is capable of stealing SMS and MMS messages and upload them to a remote server via FTP. This virus has the potential to steal all personal business sensitive data from the users’ device. Though there are no reports of being infected by the users, it is believed that the infected users are not aware of it yet. " New approach being attempted by malware makers, " TrustGo said the site in question " contains a Trojan file that targets multiple platfo
Exclusive Deals

Get Daily News Updates By Email

Join over 350,000 information security professionals — Get the best of our cyber security coverage delivered to your inbox every morning.