Headline August 26, 2017/ ''' HACKING *PHONES* .....HUMMING '''


.....HUMMING '''

EVERY STUDENT WILL DO WELL TO REMEMBER  -that Hacking Attacks are exposing vulnerability of anybody with valuable digital files.

Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of  *online security*   -the mobile phone number-  is also one of the easiest to steal.

In America,  a growing number of  online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and  AT&T.....   and asking them to transfer control of victim's phone number to a device under the control of hackers.

Once they get control of the phone number, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses   the phone number as a security backup  -as services like  Google, Twitter  and  Facebook  suggest.

''My iPad restarted, my phone restarted and my computer-restarted, and that's when I got the cold sweat and was like.... 'O.K., this is really serious.'' said Chris Burniske, a  virtual currency investor who lost control of his phone number last year.

A wide array of people have complained about being successfully targeted by this sort of attack, including a  Black Lives Matter  activist and the chief technologist of the  Federal Trade Commission.

The commission's own data shows that the number of  so-called phone hijackings has been rising.  In January 2013, there were  1,038 such incidents reported; by January 2016, that number had increased to 2,658.

But a particularly concentrated wave of attacks has got those with the most obvious valuable online accounts : virtual currency fanatics like Mr. Burniske.

Within minutes of  getting control  of  Mr. Burniske's phone, his attackers had changed the password on his virtual currency wallet and drained the contents  some  $150,000  at today's values.

Most victims of these attacks in the virtual currency community have not wanted to acknowledge it publicly for fear of  provoking their adversaries. But in interviews,  dozens of prominent people in the industry acknowledged they had been victimized in recent months.

 ''Everybody I know in the  cryptocurrency space has gotten their phone number stolen,'' said  Joby Weeks, a bitcoin entrepreneur.

Mr. Weeks lost his phone number and about a million dollars worth of virtual currency late last year, despite having asked his mobile phone provider for additional security after his wife and parents lost control of their phone numbers.  

The attackers appear to be focusing on anyone who talks on social media about owning virtual currencies or anyone who is known to invest in virtual currency companies, such as venture capitalists. 

*And virtual currency transactions are designed to be irreversible*. 

Accounts with banks and brokerage firms and the like are  not as vulnerable in these attacks because those institutions can usually reverse unintended or malicious transactions if they are caught within a few days. 

But the attacks are exposing a vulnerability that could be exploited against almost anyone with valuable emails or other digital files  -including politicians, activists, !WOW! and journalists.

Last year, hackers took over the  Twitter account of  DeRay Mckesson, a leader of the Black Lives Matters movement, by first getting his phone number.

In a number of cases involving digital money aficionados, the attackers have held email files for ransom -threatening to release naked pictures in one case, and details of victim's sexual fetishes in another.  

The vulnerability of even sophisticated programmers and security experts to these attacks sets an unsettling precedent for when the assailants go after less technology savvy victims.

Security experts worry that these types of attacks will become more widespread if mobile phone operators do not make significant changes to their security procedures.

''It's really highlighting the insecurity of using any kind of telephone-based security,'' said Michael Perklin, the chief information security officer at the the virtual currency exchange ShapeShift, which has seen many of its employees and customers attacked.  

The Honor and Serving of the latest Operational Research on Hacking continues. And The World Students Society thanks Nathaniel Popper for this alarming research. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Reviving Honours '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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