Smishing Giacomo Lanzi

Smishing: a fraud similar to phishing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Cybercrime is increasingly targeting mobile devices and is constantly evolving. On social networks and through our personal contacts we increasingly receive scam attempts disguised as simple invitations. From the reports and press releases of the postal police we can see how in recent years the cases of Smishing have been increasing , which every year cause substantial economic damage to companies and individuals for hundreds of thousands of euros.

Smishing

What is Smishing

With the term “ Phishing “, we refer to all those fraudulent activities carried out by hackers with the purpose of deceiving an individual. Other purposes may be to steal sensitive information and use it to commit tax crimes.

Smishing differs from Phishing due to the use of SMS as a contact tool. The name comes from SMS and phishing .

This type of attack usually takes place by exploiting the naivety of the victim , inducing him to download self-installing malware or inviting him to fill out forms with his personal information. These malware disguise themselves as common applications, so as not to make the victim suspicious. In the event that the user releases information within these applications, the data entered will be automatically sent to the hacker, who can use them at will.

Similarities to phishing

Other types of Smishing, however, involve sending text messages apparently coming from our bank , from a credit organization, from a company or from an individual we know, which we trust. Usually these messages contain reports of suspected suspicious movements or problems with accessing banking services. By exploiting the trust that an individual places in a bank, the hacker leads his victim to a site bogus web.

In fact, the text of the message, in addition to containing an alarming message for the victim, also contains at least one link that redirects the victim to a fraudulent site.

We have also seen this type of site in phishing attacks , and they are specially created by the hacker with the hope that the request for sensitive data is completed. This can be in the form of a bank login form, very similar to the original one.

Then, various things can be done with the collected data. They could be resold, used to blackmail the victim or to steal other accounts that use the same username and password combination. The latter is why passwords should be unique and not shared with various services.

How to defend yourself

To defend against smishing attacks, it is not necessary to adopt sophisticated defense techniques.

Since these are scams, they could easily be avoided by ignoring the content of the fraudulent messages. In fact, this type of attack, in order to work, requires interaction from the victim . Without user interaction, it is impossible to implement this type of cyber attack.

Smishing scam

Detect Smishing Attempts.

Here are some types of suspicious messages or situations to watch out for and to assess where they come from:

Urgent Safety Alerts , messages promising free money or prizes, offers or gifts. These are all alarm bells. Most likely it is an attempted scam. Leveraging a sense of urgency is typical of these attacks. A similar technique is used in marketing to rush the customer into buying.

Financial institutions or merchants never use SMS to ask their customers to update their personal account information . Most importantly, they never ask for sensitive information, such as credit card numbers.

An SMS that contains this kind of request is probably a Smishing attempt. Furthermore, in case of doubts, you can contact your bank for explanations regarding the request, in order to ascertain whether it is actually a Smishing attempt or not.

Avoid clicking on links in a message if you are not sure that the SMS really comes from a trusted source.

Pay particular attention to telephone numbers that seem suspicious. These numbers are often linked to tools that have the functionality of sending SMS directly from a mailbox. Scammers use this system to avoid providing their phone number.

Never store login credentials, bank details, or sensitive personal information on your smartphone . If this foresight is used, it will be impossible for a hacker to obtain this data, even if he were to use malware.

Never save anything on a device, it is always advisable to use traditional storage systems, such as pen and paper or our dear and old memory. Alternatively, use a password management service like Bitwarden .

Always stay calm , even if the message text contains threats or deadlines. Never take the bait.

Report smishing attack attempts to the Postal Police. By reporting these scams you can prevent other people from falling into the same scam.

Smishing to the side

Conclusions

As we have seen in this article, scam attempts are constantly growing. Fortunately, however, in our support there are institutions that constantly investigate, blocking those responsible for these scams. We always remember to always be careful whenever you provide personal information. We must always check that the source to which we are entrusting our data is reliable.

When it comes to a business, however, we recommend that you consider a service to provide the right tools for employees to fight smishing or phishing. Our ethical phishing service can help pinpoint what corporate vulnerabilities are. In addition, we organize ad hoc training based on test results to help employees recognize phishing and smishing attempts.

To find out more about how our ethical phishing service could help your business, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer any questions.

Link utili:

Useful links:

Share


RSS

More Articles…

Categories …

Tags

RSS Dark Reading

RSS Full Disclosure

  • Trovent Security Advisory 2203-01 / Micro Focus GroupWise transmits session ID in URL January 31, 2023
    Posted by Stefan Pietsch on Jan 30# Trovent Security Advisory 2203-01 # ##################################### Micro Focus GroupWise transmits session ID in URL ################################################# Overview ######## Advisory ID: TRSA-2203-01 Advisory version: 1.0 Advisory status: Public Advisory URL: https://trovent.io/security-advisory-2203-01 Affected product: Micro Focus GroupWise Affected version: prior to 18.4.2 Vendor: Micro Focus, https://www.microfocus.com...
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-24-1 tvOS 16.3 January 27, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 26APPLE-SA-2023-01-24-1 tvOS 16.3 tvOS 16.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213601. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: Apple TV 4K (all models) and Apple TV HD Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed […]
  • [SYSS-2022-047] Razer Synapse - Local Privilege Escalation January 27, 2023
    Posted by Oliver Schwarz via Fulldisclosure on Jan 26Advisory ID: SYSS-2022-047 Product: Razer Synapse Manufacturer: Razer Inc. Affected Version(s): Versions before 3.7.0830.081906 Tested Version(s): 3.7.0731.072516 Vulnerability Type: Improper Certificate Validation (CWE-295) Risk Level: High Solution Status: Open Manufacturer Notification: 2022-08-02 Solution Date: 2022-09-06 Public Disclosure:...
  • [RT-SA-2022-002] Skyhigh Security Secure Web Gateway: Cross-Site Scripting in Single Sign-On Plugin January 26, 2023
    Posted by RedTeam Pentesting GmbH on Jan 26RedTeam Pentesting identified a vulnerability which allows attackers to craft URLs to any third-party website that result in arbitrary content to be injected into the response when accessed through the Secure Web Gateway. While it is possible to inject arbitrary content types, the primary risk arises from JavaScript […]
  • t2'23: Call For Papers 2023 (Helsinki, Finland) January 24, 2023
    Posted by Tomi Tuominen via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23Call For Papers 2023 Tired of your bosses suspecting conference trips to exotic locations being just a ploy to partake in Security Vacation Club? Prove them wrong by coming to Helsinki, Finland on May 4-5 2023! Guaranteed lack of sunburn, good potential for rain or slush. In […]
  • Re: HNS-2022-01 - HN Security Advisory - Multiple vulnerabilities in Solaris dtprintinfo and libXm/libXpm January 24, 2023
    Posted by Marco Ivaldi on Jan 23Hello again, Just a quick update. Mitre has assigned the following additional CVE IDs: * CVE-2023-24039 - Stack-based buffer overflow in libXm ParseColors * CVE-2023-24040 - Printer name injection and heap memory disclosure We have updated the advisory accordingly: https://github.com/hnsecurity/vulns/blob/main/HNS-2022-01-dtprintinfo.txt Regards, Marco
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-8 Safari 16.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-8 Safari 16.3 Safari 16.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213600. WebKit Available for: macOS Big Sur and macOS Monterey Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution Description: The issue was addressed with […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-7 watchOS 9.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-7 watchOS 9.3 watchOS 9.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213599. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: Apple Watch Series 4 and later Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling hardened […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-6 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-6 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213603. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: macOS Big Sur Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-5 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-5 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213604. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: macOS Monterey Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling hardened runtime. CVE-2023-23499: […]

Customers

Newsletter