Snippet: T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T Stop SMS Hijacks After Motherboard Investigation ☇

Shared on March 25, 2021

Joseph Cox for Vice/Motherboard:

All of the major carriers made a significant change to how SMS messages are routed to prevent hackers being able to easily reroute a target’s texts, according to an announcement from Aerialink, a communications company that helps route text messages. The move comes after a Motherboard investigation in which a hacker, with minimal effort, paid $16 to reroute our text messages and then used that ability to break into a number of online accounts, including Postmates, WhatsApp, and Bumble, exposing a gaping hole in the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

I didn’t get a chance to post Cox’s initial report, but basically for $16, someone could easily get access to intercept any SMSes inbound for your number. Unlike port-out and SIM swap hacks, you’d still have working service on your phone. I think it’s a good thing that this was addressed so quickly (less than two weeks), but highlights the fragility of some of these behind-the-scenes systems that so much of our lives are tied to.

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