Inside a cyberattack method that targets your cellphone

IS IT OKTA? OR IS IT 0KTAPUS?
THE RECENT SPATE OF "SMISHING" ATTACKS POINTS TO WHAT SOME EXPERTS EXPECT WILL BE A WIDER THREAT IN THE FUTURE.

THE TECHNIQUE, WHICH CLAIMS VICTIMS AT TWILIO AND TARGETS OTHERS AT CLOUDFLARE, COMBINES TEXT MESSAGES DESIGNED TO LURE VICTIMS INTO CLICKING ON A LINK,

IT RELIES ON THE UBIQUITY OF SMARTPHONES, TRIES TO MANIPULATE HUMAN NATURE, AND WORKS AROUND AN INCREASINGLY COMMON DEFENSIVE MEASURE.

A CAMPAIGN THAT RELIED ON THIS TECHNIQUE GAINED MOMENTUM THIS SUMMER, TARGETING MORE THAN 130 COMPANIES,

ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM CYBER FIRM GROUP-IB LAST MONTH. ATTACKERS COMPROMISED NEARLY 10,000 USER CREDENTIALS.

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THE TECHNIQUE WORKS LIKE THIS:
HACKERS SEND POTENTIAL VICTIMS FAKE TEXT MESSAGES AND LURE THEM INTO CLICKING ON A LINK BY PRETENDING TO BESAY, 

A MEMBER OF THEIR EMPLOYER'S IT TEAM TELLING THEM THEIR PASSWORD HAS EXPIRED OR THEIR SCHEDULE HAS CHANGED.

TYPICALLY KNOWN AS "PHISHING", WHEN DECOYS ARRIVE VIA EMAIL, IT IS KNOWN AS "SMISHING"

BECAUSE IT IS A PORTMANTEAU OF "PHISHING" AND "SMS", COMMONLY KNOWN AS TEXT MESSAGES.

THE LINK LEADS TO A FAKE OKTA WEBSITE OR ANOTHER TOOL THAT AUTHENTICATES LOGINS, KNOWN AS MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION OR MFA.

(GROUP-IB NAMED THE CAMPAIGN 0KTAPUS IN THEIR REPORT BECAUSE OF THE OKTA ANGLE.)

ONCE HACKERS OBTAIN THE CODE THAT THEIR VICTIM UNKNOWINGLY PROVIDES THEM WITH,

THEY CAN ROAM VICTIM NETWORKS.

THE IB GROUP DATA IS DRAMATIC, SAID RYAN OLSON,

 VICE PRESIDENT OF THREAT INTELLIGENCE AT UNIT 42 PALO ALTO NETWORKS.

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