Wednesday 16 June 2021

SMiShing: Protect Yourself against SMS Phishing Attacks

  • It’s the latest high-tech attack and it’s coming to cell phones everywhere. Here’s the lowdown on smishing and what you can do about it

  • Never reply to a suspicious text without doing research and verifying the source.

iphone5-652x300

Just when you thought you understood “Phishing” and felt save to navigate the world wide web again, there is “Smishing”. So, what is Smishing?

Short for SMS Phishing, smishing is a variant of phishing email scams that instead utilizes Short Message Service (SMS) systems to send bogus text messages. Also written as SMiShing, SMS phishing made recent headlines when a vulnerability in the iPhone’s SMS text messaging system was discovered that made smishing on the mobile device possible.

- Advertisement -

Smishing scams frequently seek to direct the text message recipient to visit a website or call a phone number, at which point the person being scammed is enticed to provide sensitive information such as credit card details or passwords. Smishing websites are also known to attempt to infect the person’s computer with malware.

SMS phishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the bait to induce people to divulge their personal information. The hook (the method used to actually capture people’s information) in the text message may be a website URL, but it has become more common to see a telephone number that connects to an automated voice response system.

phishing-hookThe SMS phishing message usually contains something that demands the target’s immediate attention. Examples include “We confirm that you have signed up for our subscription. You will be charged $2 a day unless you cancel your order on this URL: [URL]”. Or (Name of popular online bank) confirms that you have purchased a computer from (name of popular computer company). Visit [URL] if you did not make this online purchase”, and “(Name of a financial institution): Your account has been suspended. Call 235.654.6969 immediately to reactivate”. The hook will be a seemingly legitimate website that asks you to “confirm” (enter) your personal financial information, such as your credit/debit card number, CVV code (on the back of your credit card), your ATM card PIN, SSN, email address, and other personal information. If the hook is a phone number, it normally directs to a legitimate-sounding automated voice response system, similar to the voice response systems used by many financial institutions, which will ask for the same personal information.

This is an example of a (complete) SMS phishing message in current circulation: “Notice – this is an automated message from (a local credit union), your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent [sic] at 866-###-####.”

- Advertisement -

In many cases, the SMS phishing message will not show an actual telephone number and some unusual number. This usually indicates the SMS message was sent by email to the cell phone rather than from another cell phone. This information is then used to create duplicate credit/debit/ATM cards. There are documented cases where information entered on a fraudulent website (used in a phishing, SMS phishing, or voice phishing attack) was used to create a credit or debit card that was then used halfway around the world within 30 minutes.

Avoid the Dangers of “Smishing”: How to Protect Yourself
If you get a text that’s unsolicited or from an unidentifiable source, protect yourself with these tips:

  • If the message appears to be from a legitimate source, contact that source’s main phone number—not the number provided in the text—and verify. Legitimate businesses, such as banks, do not send out texts that elicit a response.
  • Delete messages from unknown sources without reading.
  • Do not click on links or download apps from an unverified source.
  • Never provide sensitive information to an unverified texter.
  • Avoid messages that appear to come from non telephone numbers. This may be an identity that hides a scammer’s real number. The message may have no number at all.
  • Add security software to your mobile phone.
  • Look into setting up a “text alias.” This cell phone feature hides your actual phone number from the smishing sender.
  • Contact your phone provider and alert it to the messages you’ve been receiving.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

[BLOG] Costa Rican Electric Company – General Maintenance Procedures

During my fifteen plus years of living in Costa Rica, I...

Heliport, Money and Weapons in Costa Rica

Following reports by residents of Las Asturias de Pococí about flyovers...

MOST READ

COVID vaccines in the workplace: Can I ask who got their shots?

(DW) Jon works for the local government in the US state of Virginia. The 40-year-old received both his COVID shots in April. Most of...

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 15: 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 15, vehicles with plates ending 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles as United States ambassador to Costa Rica. According to the...

Diseases, weather and low prices hit the orange sector in Costa Rica

HQ - The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the 'dragón amarillo' (yellow dragon), the impact of the weather and a sharp drop...

Tourism’s path to recovery

QREPORTS - A new travel trends research paper released today by Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are...

Plate rupture has potential for stronger quakes

QCOSTARICA - The 5.7-magnitude tremor, felt at 5:27 pmon Thursday, occurred in a maritime zone with the potential for stronger earthquakes, explained Ivonne Arroyo,...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

El Salvador Makes Bitcoin Legal Tender, A World First

Q24N (Reuters) El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender after Congress approved President Nayib Bukele's...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.