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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: two factor authentication

Hackers Can Use Ultrasonic Waves to Secretly Control Voice Assistant Devices

Hackers Can Use Ultrasonic Waves to Secretly Control Voice Assistant Devices
March 02, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have discovered a new means to target voice-controlled devices by propagating ultrasonic waves through solid materials in order to interact with and compromise them using inaudible voice commands without the victims' knowledge. Called " SurfingAttack ," the attack leverages the unique properties of acoustic transmission in solid materials — such as tables — to "enable multiple rounds of interactions between the voice-controlled device and the attacker over a longer distance and without the need to be in line-of-sight." In doing so, it's possible for an attacker to interact with the devices using the voice assistants, hijack SMS two-factor authentication codes, and even place fraudulent calls, the researchers outlined in the paper, thus controlling the victim device inconspicuously. The research was published by a group of academics from Michigan State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Un

Ring Makes 2-Factor Authentication Mandatory Following Recent Hacks

Ring Makes 2-Factor Authentication Mandatory Following Recent Hacks
February 19, 2020Mohit Kumar
Smart doorbells and cameras bring a great sense of security to your home, especially when you're away, but even a thought that someone could be spying on you through the same surveillance system would shiver up your spine. Following several recent reports of hackers gaining access to people's internet-connected Ring doorbell and security cameras, Amazon yesterday announced to make two-factor authentication security feature mandatory for all Ring users. Until now, enabling the two-factor authentication in Ring devices was optional, which definitely would have prevented most Ring hacks, but of course, many never bothered to enable it. That means, from now onwards, at the time of login after entering the account's username and password, every user needs to input a secret six-digit authentication code sent to them via their phone or email. Two-factor authentication is an effective defense because it acts as a deterrent, preventing unauthorized users from gaining acces

Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked

Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked
September 05, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Twitter today finally decided to temporarily disable a feature, called ' Tweeting via SMS ,' after it was abused by a hacking group to compromise Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week and sent a series of racist and offensive tweets to Dorsey's followers. Dorsey's Twitter account was compromised last week when a hacker group calling itself "Chuckling Squad" replicated a mobile phone number associated with the CEO account and abused this particular feature to post racist, offensive messages and bomb threats from it via SMS. Replicating a mobile phone number associated with someone else is a technique known as " SIM swapping ," where attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider and trick the telecom company to transfer target's phone number to their own SIM card. Once they social engineered an AT&T employee and gained access to Dorsey's phone number, the Chuckling Squad hackers used the 'Tweeting via SMS' feat

U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million
May 10, 2019Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced charges against nine individuals, 6 of which are members of a hacking group called "The Community" and other 3 are former employees of mobile phone providers who allegedly helped them steal roughly $2.5 million worth of the cryptocurrency using a method known as "SIM Swapping." According to the 15-count indictment unsealed today, five Americans and an Irishman related to The Community hacking group are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as well as wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Another three Americans, who reportedly are the former employees of mobile phone providers, are charged in a criminal complaint with the wire fraud. SIM Swapping , or SIM Hijacking , is a type of identity theft that typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker. In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider by convincing it

Android Gets FIDO2 Certification—Now Supports Secure Passwordless Logins

Android Gets FIDO2 Certification—Now Supports Secure Passwordless Logins
February 25, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Great news. If you have already installed the latest update of Google Play Services released earlier today, and your Android device is running Android version 7.0 Nougat or above—Congratulations! Your device is now FIDO2 Certified. Are you thinking… what the heck that actually means? It means, instead of remembering complex passwords for your online accounts, you can now actually use your Android's built-in fingerprint sensor or FIDO security keys for secure password-less access to log into apps and websites that support the FIDO2 protocols, Google and the FIDO Alliance—a consortium that develops open source authentication standards—announced Monday. FIDO2 (Fast Identity Online) protocol offers strong passwordless authentication based on standard public key cryptography using hardware FIDO authenticators like security keys, mobile phones, and other built-in devices. FIDO2 protocol is a combination of W3C's WebAuthn API that allows developers to integrate FIDO aut

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions
October 02, 2018Mohit Kumar
Google has made several new announcements for its Chrome Web Store that aims at making Chrome extensions more secure and transparent to its users. Over a couple of years, we have seen a significant rise in malicious extensions that appear to offer useful functionalities, while running hidden malicious scripts in the background without the user's knowledge. However, the best part is that Google is aware of the issues and has proactively been working to change the way its Chrome web browser handles extensions. Earlier this year, Google banned extensions using cryptocurrency mining scripts and then in June, the company also disabled inline installation of Chrome extensions completely. The company has also been using machine learning technologies to detect and block malicious extensions. To take a step further, Google announced Monday five major changes that give users more control over certain permissions, enforces security measures, as well as makes the ecosystem more t

Google 'Titan Security Key' Is Now On Sale For $50

Google 'Titan Security Key' Is Now On Sale For $50
August 31, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Google just made its Titan Security Key available on its store for $50. First announced last month at Google Cloud Next '18 convention, Titan Security Key is a tiny USB device—similar to Yubico's YubiKey—that offers hardware-based two-factor authentication (2FA) for online accounts with the highest level of protection against phishing attacks. Google's Titan Security Key is now widely available in the United States, with a full kit available for $50, which includes: USB security key, Bluetooth security key, USB-C to USB-A adapter, USB-C to USB-A connecting cable. What Is Google Titan Security Key? Titan Security Keys is based on the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, U2F (universal 2nd factor) protocol and includes a secure element and a firmware developed by Google that verifies the integrity of security keys at the hardware level. It adds an extra layer of authentication to an account on top of your password, and users can quickly log into their acc

Reddit Hacked – Emails, Passwords, Private Messages Stolen

Reddit Hacked – Emails, Passwords, Private Messages Stolen
August 01, 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

Timehop Hacked — Hackers Stole Personal Data Of All 21 Million Users

Timehop Hacked — Hackers Stole Personal Data Of All 21 Million Users
July 09, 2018Mohit Kumar
And the hacks just keep on coming. Timehop social media app has been hit by a major data breach on July 4th that compromised the personal data of its more than 21 million users. Timehop is a simple social media app that collects your old photos and posts from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Foursquare and acts as a digital time machine to help you find—what you were doing on this very day exactly a year ago. The company revealed on Sunday that unknown attacker(s) managed to break into its Cloud Computing Environment and access the data of entire 21 million users, including their names, email addresses, and approximately 4.7 million phone numbers attached to their accounts. "We learned of the breach while it was still in progress, and were able to interrupt it, but data was taken. Some data was breached," the company wrote in a security advisory posted on its website. Social Media OAuth2 Tokens Also Compromised Moreover, the attackers also got th

Google Redesigns Gmail – Here's a List of Amazing New Features

Google Redesigns Gmail – Here's a List of Amazing New Features
April 25, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Google has finally been rolling out its new massively redesigned Gmail  for desktop and mobile to 1.4 billion of users worldwide, which might be the most significant single upgrade in Gmail's history. This huge revamped version of the email service now offers plenty of new features such as confidential mode, offline support, email snoozing and more, to make Gmail more smarter, secure, and easier to use. In this article, I have listed details of the most significant changes that you need to know and how to use them. Give it a quick read. New 'Confidential Mode' Features For Security & Privacy Are you afraid of sending sensitive documents in an email due to fear of hacking or being forwarded? Well, now you can simply click the lock icon at the bottom of an email to enable the new Confidential Mode, which lets you add a bunch of extra layers of security (as mentioned below) to the emails of your choice. 1) Self-Destructing Emails:  This feature lets you se

Enable Google's New "Advanced Protection" If You Don't Want to Get Hacked

Enable Google's New "Advanced Protection" If You Don't Want to Get Hacked
October 18, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It is good to be paranoid when it comes to cybersecurity. Google already provides various advanced features such as login alerts and two-factor authentication to keep your Google account secure. However, if you are extra paranoid, Google has just introduced its strongest ever security feature, called " Advanced Protection ," which makes it easier for users, who are usually at high risk of targeted online attacks, to lock down their Google accounts like never before. "We took this unusual step because there is an overlooked minority of our users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks," the company said in a blog post announcing the program on Tuesday.  "For example, these might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety." Even if a hacker somehow gets your password—using advanced phishing a

Real-World SS7 Attack — Hackers Are Stealing Money From Bank Accounts

Real-World SS7 Attack — Hackers Are Stealing Money From Bank Accounts
May 04, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have been warning for years about critical security holes in the Signaling System 7 (SS7) that could allow hackers to listen in private phone calls and read text messages on a potentially vast scale, despite the most advanced encryption used by cellular networks. Cellular networks, on the other hand, have consistently been ignoring this serious issue, saying that it is a very low risk for most people, as the exploitation of the SS7 flaws requires significant technical and financial investment. But some unknown hackers have just proved them wrong by recently exploiting the design flaws in the SS7 to drain victims' bank accounts, according to a report published Wednesday by German-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. SS7 is a telephony signaling protocol created in the 1980s by telcos and powered more than 800 telecom operators across the world, including AT&T and Verizon, to interconnect and exchange data, like routing calls and texts with one a

Facebook Unveils 'Delegated Recovery' to Replace Traditional Password Recovery Methods

Facebook Unveils 'Delegated Recovery' to Replace Traditional Password Recovery Methods
January 31, 2017Mohit Kumar
How do you reset the password for your Facebook account if your primary email account also gets hacked? Using SMS-based security code or maybe answering the security questions? Well, it's 2017, and we are still forced to depend on insecure and unreliable password reset schemes like email-based or SMS code verification process. But these traditional access recovery mechanisms aren't safe enough to protect our all other online accounts linked to an email account. Yahoo Mail can be used as an excellent example. Once hackers have access to your Yahoo account, they can also get into any of your other online accounts linked to the same email just by clicking the link that says, "Forgot your password?" Fortunately, Facebook has a tool that aims to fix this process, helping you recover access to all your other online accounts securely. At the Enigma Conference in Oakland, California on Monday, Facebook launched an account recovery feature for other websites

Facebook Adds FIDO U2F Security Keys Feature For Secure Logins

Facebook Adds FIDO U2F Security Keys Feature For Secure Logins
January 27, 2017Mohit Kumar
Hacking password for a Facebook account is not easy, but also not impossible. We have always been advising you to enable two-factor authentication — or 2FA — to secure your online accounts, a process that requires users to manually enter, typically a six-digit secret code generated by an authenticator app or received via SMS or email. So even if somehow hackers steal your login credentials, they would not be able to access your account without one-time password sent to you. But, Are SMS-based one-time passwords Secure? US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is also no longer recommending SMS-based two-factor authentication systems , and it's not a reliable solution mainly because of two reasons: Users outside the network coverage can face issues Growing number of sophisticated attacks against OTP schemes So, to beef up the security of your account, Facebook now support Fido-compliant Universal 2nd Factor Authentication (U2F), allows users to log into

WhatsApp Adds​ ​2-Step Verification Passcode — Enable this Security Feature

WhatsApp Adds​ ​2-Step Verification Passcode — Enable this Security Feature
November 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
WhatsApp has introduced a new security feature that fixes a loophole in the popular messaging platform, which if exploited, could allow an attacker to hijack victim's account with just knowing the victim's phone number and some hacking skills. The attack does not exploit any vulnerability in WhatsApp; instead, it relies on the way the account setup mechanism works. WhatsApp allows users to sign up to the app using their phone number, so if an attacker wants to hijack your WhatsApp account, they would require an OTP (One time password) send to your phone number. The attacker can grab this OTP by diverting the SMS containing the passcode to their own computer or phone, using either a malicious app or SS7 vulnerability , and then log into the victim's WhatsApp account. The attack even works in case the phone is locked. In August, Iranian state-sponsored hackers reportedly hijacked over dozens of Telegram accounts belonging to activists and journalists by exploiting a

Joomla Joomla! Two Critical Flaws Discovered — Update to Protect Your Site

Joomla Joomla! Two Critical Flaws Discovered — Update to Protect Your Site
October 25, 2016Mohit Kumar
Joomla – the world's second popular open source Content Management System (CMS) software packages, has just released the latest version of its CMS, which includes patches for two critical security vulnerabilities and a bug fix. The two critical flaws, both exist in the Joomla Core functionalities, include Account Creation Vulnerability ( CVE-2016-8870 ) and Elevated Privileges flaw ( CVE-2016-8869 ) that, if unpatched, could put millions of websites that run on Joomla at risk. The account creation bug could allow any user to register on a website, even if the registration process has been disabled, while the elevated privileges flaw could enable users to perform advanced functions on a registered site that ordinary users are not authorized to do. Both the critical vulnerabilities affect Joomla version 3.4.4 through 3.6.3. The update also includes a bug fix for Two-Factor Authentication. Millions of websites used in e-commerce and other sensitive industries used Joomla,

End of SMS-based 2-Factor Authentication; Yes, It's Insecure!

End of SMS-based 2-Factor Authentication; Yes, It's Insecure!
July 27, 2016Mohit Kumar
SMS-based Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) has been declared insecure and soon it might be a thing of the past. Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA adds an extra step of entering a random passcode sent to you via an SMS or call when you log in to your account as an added layer of protection. For example, if you have 2FA enabled on Gmail, the platform will send a six-digit passcode to your mobile phone every time you sign in to your account. But, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline that says SMS-based two-factor authentication should be banned in future due to security concerns. Here's what the relevant paragraph of the latest DAG draft reads: "If the out of band verification is to be made using an SMS message on a public mobile telephone network, the verifier SHALL verify that the pre-registered telephone number being used is actually associated with a mobile network and not wi

Google makes 2-Factor Authentication a lot Easier and Faster

Google makes 2-Factor Authentication a lot Easier and Faster
June 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
When it comes to data breaches of major online services like LinkedIn , MySpace , Twitter and VK.com , it's two-factor authentication that could save you from being hacked. Two-factor authentication or 2-step verification is an effective way to secure online accounts, but many users avoid enabling the feature just to save themselves from irritation of receiving and typing a six-digit code that takes their 10 to 15 extra seconds. Now, Google has made the 2-Step Verification (2FV) process much easier for its users, allowing you to login with just a single tap instead of typing codes. Previously, you have had to manually enter a six-digit code received via an SMS or from an authenticator app, but now… Google has introduced a new method called " Google Prompt " that uses a simple push notification where you just have to tap on your mobile phone to approve login requests. Also Read: Google Plans to Kill your Passwords . In other words, while signing in to your
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