Headline August 27, 2017/ ''' HACKERS -TERRORIZE- HOUNDS '''



HACKERS USE  *PHONE NUMBERS*  TO  STEAL  :  So today the......... *virtual currency deposits and depositors*. Tomorrow the World...........

IN AMERICA,  MOBILE PHONE CARRIERS  have said they are taking steps to head off  Hacker  attacks by making it possible-

To add more *complex personal identification numbers* , or  PINS, to accounts, among other steps.

But these measures have not been enough to stop the spread and success of the culprits.

After a first wave of phone porting attacks on the virtual currency community last winter, which was reported by Forbes,......  their frequency appears to have ticked up, Mr. Perklin and other security experts said.

In several recent cases, the hackers have commandeered phone numbers even when the victims know they were under attack and alerted their cellphone provider.

Adam Pokornicky, a managing director at  CryptoChain Capital, asked Verizon to put extra security measures on his account after he learned that an attacker had called in 38 times, trying to move his number to a new phone.

But just a day later, he said,  the attacker persuaded a different  Verizon agent to change Mr. Pokornicky's number without requiring the new PIN.

A spokesman for Verizon, Richard Young, said the company could not comment on specific cases, but that phone porting was not common.

''While we work diligently to ensure customer accounts remain secure, on occasion there are instances where  automated processes  or human performance falls short,'' he said. 

''We strive to correct these issues quickly and look for a additional ways to improve security.''

Mr. Perklin, who worked at a  Canadian mobile phone operator before joining  ShapeShift , said most companies would write down any additional security requests in the notes of a customer account.

But agents can generally act on their own, he said, regardless of what is in the notes, and they can easily miss what is in the notes.

The vulnerability of  phone-number is the unintended consequence of a broad push in the  security industry  to institute a practice known as............ two-factor authentication,   that is supposed to help make accounts more secure.  

Many email providers and financial firms require customers to tie their online accounts to phone numbers, to verify their identity.

But this system also generally allows someone with the  phone number  to reset the passwords on these accounts without knowing the original passwords.

A  Hacker just hits    ''forgot password?''    and has a new code sent to the commandeered phone.    

Mr. Pokornicky was online at the time his  phone number  was taken, and he watched as his assailants  seized all his major online accounts within minutes.

''It felt like they were  one step ahead of me all the time,'' he said.

The speed with which the  attackers  move     has convinced people  who are  investigating the hacks  that the attacks are generally run by groups of *hackers working together*.

Danny Yang, the founder of the virtual currency security   BlockSeer, said he had traced  several attacks to   internet addresses  in the Philippines, others-  have been tracked  to  computers  in Turkey and  the  United States.

*Mr. Perklin and other people who have investigated recent hacks said the assailants generally succeeded by delivering  sob stories  about an emergency that required the phone number to be moved to a new device*-

And by trying multiple times until a gullible agent was found. 
''These guys will sit and call 600 times before they get through  and get an agent on the line that's an idiot,'' Mr. Weeks said.

Coinbase, one of the most widely used  Bitcoin wallets,  has encouraged customers to disconnect their mobile phones from their  Coinbase accounts.

But some customers who have lost money have said the companies need to take more steps by doing things like delaying transfers from accounts on which the password was recently changed.

''*Coinbase looks like a  bank*, stores million of dollars like a bank, but you don't realize how weak  its default  protections are until you're robbed of thousands of dollars in minutes,'' said Cody Brown, a virtual reality developer who was hacked in May.

A spokesman for  Coinbase  said the company ''has invested significant resources to build internal tools to help protect our customers against hackers and account takeovers, including compromise through phone porting.'' 

The  irreversibility of  Bitcoin transactions has often been lauded as one of the  most important qualities  of  virtual currency  because it makes it harder for  banks and governments to intervene in transactions.

But. Mr. Pokornicky said the virtual currency industry needed to alert new users to the added risk that comes with the new features of the technology.

''It's powerful to be able to control your money and moving things without any permission,'' he said. ''But that privilege requires clear understanding of the downside.'' 

With respectful dedication to All Hackers, *All Virtual Currency Investors* , First Line Defences, Law Enforcement Agencies,  Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!   -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Web- Connections- !WOW! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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