Rise in cybercriminals leveraging voice phishing and OTP theft for data breaches: Report

Cybercriminals are exploiting a potent fusion of voice phishing and OTP theft, intensifying security concerns, as revealed by cybersecurity experts in a recent report.

| Updated on: Sep 25 2023, 20:08 IST
Cybersecurity researchers unveil a new wave of cyber threats as criminals combine voice phishing and OTP theft to breach data defenses. (Pixabay)
Cybersecurity researchers unveil a new wave of cyber threats as criminals combine voice phishing and OTP theft to breach data defenses. (Pixabay)

In a concerning revelation, cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a growing trend among cybercriminals who are ingeniously merging the sinister world of voice phishing (vishing) with One-Time Password (OTP) grabber services to amplify their illicit activities. The findings, detailed in a report by CloudSEK, a cybersecurity firm, have shed light on an evolving threat landscape.

The Art of Vishing

Vishing, short for voice phishing, is a manipulative technique where individuals are coerced into divulging sensitive information over the phone. What sets vishing apart is the human touch it adds to cyberattacks, making victims more susceptible to trust the caller on the other end of the line. These attackers employ highly sophisticated tactics, including interactive voice response (IVR) systems, authentic voice recordings, or even real-time calls that convincingly mimic trusted companies. Through these means, unsuspecting victims are deftly maneuvered into disclosing their one-time passwords, typically delivered through text messages, CloudSEK reported.

SpoofMyAss.com (SMA)

Recent research brought to light a chilling advertisement on SpoofMyAss.com (SMA), where cybercriminals can access OTP bot escalation and SMS senders, significantly bolstering their capacity to execute large-scale vishing attacks. SMA's toolkit includes the extraction of OTPs, the ability to conduct global calls in a multitude of languages, personalization features, anonymous calling capabilities, and the creation of bot templates - all telltale signs of vishing endeavors.

What's even more disconcerting is that SMA lures users with free sign-ups and a welcoming $1 balance. It classifies its services into OTP Bot Spoofer and SMS Sender. The OTP Bot Spoofer is a call service with the capability to procure OTPs of any length, and retrieve multiple OTPs. Meanwhile, the SMS Sender service deploys 269 legitimate SMS gateways, spanning 87 US-based and 13 India-based gateways, to dispatch text messages to global users.

The Dire Consequences of Exploitation

The ramifications of such exploitations are grave. With cybercriminals gaining unauthorized access to victims' online banking and sensitive accounts, they wield the power to orchestrate a range of fraudulent online transactions, leaving individuals and organizations vulnerable to substantial financial loss and data breaches.

ClouSEK report added, "Employing vishing as their method of choice, the cybercriminals successfully obtained employee credentials, secured global admin privileges within Azure Tenant, exfiltrated data, and subsequently held numerous ESXi hypervisors hostage for a ransom."

Staying Vigilant in the Face of Growing Threats

In light of these evolving threats, cybersecurity experts are urgently advising individuals and organizations to exercise extreme caution. Robust security measures and enhanced awareness are paramount to guarding against these ever-adapting cyber adversaries. It's a call to action to bolster security protocols and stay one step ahead in the battle against cybercrime.

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First Published Date: 25 Sep, 18:37 IST