Preventing Fraud After a Carrier Breach

July 17, 2017

The target of the latest breach to hit the news is Verizon, who announced last week that the data from over 14 million customers was leaked online -- leaving phone numbers, names, and most critically, account PIN codes publicly exposed. Any subscriber who has called Verizon customer service in the previous six months could be at risk. With one-time-passwords (TOTP and OTP) via SMS a popular second-factor method, how safe is your mobile phone number? The answer is "not safe" when you consider that illicit phone number porting is a strategy designed to overwhelm SMS-based multi-factor authentication methods. Fortunately, there are authentication solutions built to protect you from this kind of fraud.

The SecureAuth adaptive access control platform includes phone number fraud prevention, a protective layer that allows organizations to identify, block and protect against attackers attempting to exploit second-factor authentication delivery to phone numbers and mobile devices. These capabilities meet and exceed NIST guidelines for SMS authentication, by blocking the most common ways that phone number fraud attacks are carried out -- including SIM card porting fraud. SecureAuth is able to mitigate the impact of this breach by providing the following protections:

Breach Protections

Block Recently Ported Numbers: After a breach, attackers will port a legitimate phone number, from a legitimate user, to a new device. Attackers will then use the newly ported phone number in an authentication process. SecureAuth detects if a phone number has recently been ported and prevents authentication using that number until the porting has been verified by the end user

Block by Number Class: All numbers are associated with a class of phone (e.g. Virtual, Mobile, Landline). SecureAuth detects what class a specific number is and allows customers to block particular phone class(s) from use during authentication

Block by Carrier: All numbers are associated with a carrier network and there are hundreds of carrier networks globally (e.g. Verizon, AT&T). SecureAuth detects what carrier a specific number is associated with and allows customers to block particular carrier networks by network or by country.

One-time passcode (OTP) Spam Prevention: Attackers will attempt to brute force the authentication process. SecureAuth lets admins regulate the number of OTPs that can be sent to users, preventing them from being spammed and further mitigating any brute force attempts.

Phone fraud prevention is just one of the layers in SecureAuth’s adaptive access control platform, designed to detect when risk is present then step up with multi-factor authentication or deny the request altogether. Learn more about adaptive authentication and request a demo to see it action. 

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