DOJ accuses Verizon and AT&T employees of participating in SIM-swap identity theft crimes

The DOJ has indicted three former Verizon and AT&T employees for alleged membership in a crime-ring known as the "The Community"; the indictment says the telco employees helped their confederates undertake "port-out" scams (AKA "SIM-swapping" AKA "SIM hijacking"), which allowed criminals to gain control over targets' phone numbers, thereby receiving SMS-based two-factor authentication codes. Read the rest

Comcast assigned every mobile customer the same unchangeable PIN to protect against SIM hijack attacks: 0000

If someone wants to steal your phone number -- say, to intercept the two-factor authentication SMSes needed to break into your bank account or other vital service -- they hijack your SIM by impersonating you to your phone company (or by bribing someone at the company to reassign your phone number to them), and this has made the security of phone numbers into a top concern for security experts and telcoms companies, as there are millions of dollars at stake. Read the rest