GSM codes exploited
Blatant Whatsapp Scam: How One Call Can Steal Your Account
One call to the wrong number and access to Whatsapp is gone. An aggressive scam is currently threatening the accounts of Messenger users. Fortunately, there is a simple precaution.
Dangerous contests, supposed grandchildren with requests for money or lousy chain letters: the list of scams through Whatsapp is getting longer and longer. Now a new one has been observed, the consequences of which may be even more serious than those previously known. Scammers get their victims to give them the full Whatsapp account, without them realizing it.
Security expert Rahul Sasi warns of this on Twitter. To obtain the account, according to him, it is enough to call a single telephone number. And minutes later they kick you out of the whatsapp account. And the attackers have full control over the chats.
Behind this is a strategy that is as simple as it is terrifying. Attackers convince their victims to dial a phone number. The attack is hidden in the number itself, explains Sasi. Instead of an ordinary phone number, it is one preceded by a special code. He so far she has observed the codes. **67* Y *405*, each followed by an ordinary phone number, according to the expert. The effect is the same for both: the code ensures that the victim’s calls are forwarded to the new number from now on. Also the call with which WhatsApp can confirm the authenticity of a new device. And the account is already in the hands of the attackers.
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After that, it will be very difficult to recover the account. Because the attackers are now legitimately logged in from Whatsapp’s point of view, they can even change the phone number used for the account. However, it is more attractive to keep them for now and use them to scam the victim’s contacts. On the one hand, their so-called acquaintance asks them for money. On the other hand, they are more likely to be convinced by their trusted chat partners to call the rigged numbers themselves. And thus provide scammers with additional numbers.
GSM codes as vulnerability
Although, according to Sasis, the scam has so far been observed mainly in India, it is basically possible all over the world, he emphasizes. The basis is so-called “GSM codes”, which date back to the pre-smartphone era. In Germany you would use the code for the cheat. **twenty-one* you need to redirect all calls.
However, GSM codes are not really meant to be a hacking tool. They allow to change the connection settings through the provider with certain code additions to phone numbers. In addition to redirection, the number of dial tones in front of the mailbox can be configured or the mailbox itself can be called. You can find an overview of the most important codes
whatsapp in focus
Fraud attempts through WhatsApp have continued to increase in recent years. The reason is obvious: With more than two billion users, Facebook’s parent company’s app, Meta, is the most widely used messenger of all. In Germany alone, Whatsapp is used by 60 million people every day. With more and more people among them being very impartial when it comes to using technology, the number of potential fraud victims is very high. Most recently, in March, LKA Schleswig-Holstein warned of a major wave of courier fraud. In the northernmost federal state alone, more than 100,000 euros had already been damaged.
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