U.S. Mobile Giants Want to be Your Online Identity

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2018 20:58:31 +0000

The four major U.S. wireless carriers today detailed a new initiative that may soon let Web sites eschew passwords and instead authenticate visitors by leveraging data elements unique to each customer’s phone and mobile subscriber account, such as location, customer reputation, and physical attributes of the device. Here’s a look at what’s coming, and the potential security and privacy trade-offs of trusting the carriers to handle online authentication on your behalf.

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Instagram’s New Security Tools are a Welcome Step, But Not Enough

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 22:59:39 +0000

Instagram users should soon have more secure options for protecting their accounts against Internet bad guys.  On Tuesday, the Facebook-owned social network said it is in the process of rolling out support for third-party authentication apps. Unfortunately, this welcome new security offering does nothing to block Instagram account takeovers when thieves manage to hijack a target’s mobile phone number — an increasingly common crime.

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Hanging Up on Mobile in the Name of Security

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:01:36 +0000

An entrepreneur and virtual currency investor is suing AT&T for $224 million, claiming the wireless provider was negligent when it failed to prevent thieves from hijacking his mobile account and stealing millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. Increasingly frequent, high-profile attacks like these are prompting some experts to say the surest way to safeguard one’s online accounts may be to disconnect them from the mobile providers entirely.

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Florida Man Arrested in SIM Swap Conspiracy

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2018 19:27:23 +0000

Police in Florida have arrested a 25-year-old man accused of being part of a multi-state cyber fraud ring that hijacked mobile phone numbers in online attacks that siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from victims. On July 18, 2018, Pasco County authorities arrested Ricky Joseph Handschumacher, an employee of the city of Port Richey, Fla, charging him with grand theft and money laundering. Investigators allege Handschumacher was part of a group of at least nine individuals scattered across multiple states who for the past two years have drained bank accounts via an increasingly common scheme involving mobile phone “SIM swaps.”

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Supreme Court: Police Need Warrant for Mobile Location Data

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2018 20:30:13 +0000

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the government needs to obtain a court-ordered warrant to gather location data on mobile device users. The decision is a major development for privacy rights, but experts say it may have limited bearing on the selling of real-time customer location data by the wireless carriers to third-party companies.

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AT&T, Sprint, Verizon to Stop Sharing Customer Location Data With Third Parties

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:03:44 +0000

In the wake of a scandal involving third-party companies leaking or selling precise, real-time location data on virtually all Americans who own a mobile phone, the four major wireless carriers have responded to requests from a U.S. senator for more details about how the carriers are managing access to this extremely sensitive information. While three out of four providers said they had cancelled data sharing agreements with some of the offending companies, only one — Verizon — pledged to terminate all of them and initiate a wholesale review of their location data-sharing practices.

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Verizon to Stop Sharing Customer Location Data With Third Parties

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:03:44 +0000

In the wake of a scandal involving third-party companies leaking or selling precise, real-time location data on virtually all Americans who own a mobile phone, the four major wireless carriers have responded to requests from a U.S. senator for more details about how the carriers are managing access to this extremely sensitive information. While three out of four providers said they had cancelled data sharing agreements with some of the offending companies, only one — Verizon — pledged to terminate all of them and initiate a wholesale review of their location data-sharing practices.

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Why Is Your Location Data No Longer Private?

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Sat, 26 May 2018 16:18:48 +0000

The past month has seen one blockbuster revelation after another about how our mobile phone and broadband providers have been leaking highly sensitive customer information, including real-time location data and customer account details. In the wake of these consumer privacy debacles, many are left wondering who’s responsible for policing these industries? How exactly did we get to this point? What prospects are there for changes to address this national privacy crisis at the legislative and regulatory levels? These are some of the questions we’ll explore in this article.

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Mobile Giants: Please Don’t Share the Where

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Tue, 22 May 2018 16:05:50 +0000

Your mobile phone is giving away your approximate location all day long. This isn’t exactly a secret: It has to share this data with your mobile provider constantly to provide better call quality and to route any emergency 911 calls straight to your location. But now, the major mobile providers in the United States — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — are selling this location information to third party companies — in real time — without your consent or a court order, and with apparently zero accountability for how this data will be used, stored, shared or protected. It may be tough to put a price on one’s location privacy, but here’s something of which you can be sure: The mobile carriers are selling data about where you are at any time, without your consent, to third-parties for probably far less than you might be willing to pay to secure it.

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T-Mobile Employee Made Unauthorized ‘SIM Swap’ to Steal Instagram Account

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 18:35:24 +0000

T-Mobile is investigating a retail store employee who allegedly made unauthorized changes to a subscriber’s account in an elaborate scheme to steal the customer’s three-letter Instagram username. The modifications, which could have let the rogue employee empty bank accounts associated with the targeted T-Mobile subscriber, were made even though the victim customer already had taken steps recommended by the mobile carrier to help minimize the risks of account takeover. Here’s what happened, and some tips on how you can protect yourself from a similar fate.

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Tracking Firm LocationSmart Leaked Location Data for Customers of All Major U.S. Mobile Carriers Without Consent in Real Time Via Its Web Site

Credit to Author: BrianKrebs| Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 18:29:18 +0000

LocationSmart, a U.S. based company that acts as an aggregator of real-time data about the precise location of mobile phone devices, has been leaking this information to anyone via a buggy component of its Web site — without the need for any password or other form of authentication or authorization — KrebsOnSecurity has learned. The company took the vulnerable service offline early this afternoon after being contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, which verified that it could be used to reveal the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the United States to an accuracy of within a few hundred yards.

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