SMS, privacy and security issues

in age Messaging application Based on End-to-end encryption There are still users who think so Send an SMS Old fashioned is safer for you Aggregate To message on WhatsApp. Consideration could not be more wrong. Not only operator It has access and can read all the contents of the sent and received SMS messages, but also a file Governmental authorities Which Internet criminal They can see the messages very easily. This is because the protocol upon which to send and receive SMS is now out of date and for him Hacker It can be very easy to steal a mobile phone number and use SMS to log in Personal information and sensitive data, Such as those for unfortunate user checking accounts. For all these reasons, those who want to keep their conversations private e Send messages safely You will have to use messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal.

SMS and privacy: who can read and monitor it

In systems End-to-end encryption, Only the sender of the message and its recipient can read the contents of the sent messages. This is because both text messages and multimedia content such as pictures or videos come along Encrypted with an encryption key And only once they reach their destination are they decrypted and read. The Old SMS They are not equipped with such Security Protocols: Anyone can read the message content: fromMobile operator Who is used in Governmental authorities Equipped with appropriate monitoring systems. For example, according to documents disclosed by Edward Snowden In 2014, National Security Agency (NSA), A US defense agency, that monitored more than 200 million text messages per day from all over the world. The reason why SMS cannot be considered as communication tools capable of maintaining user privacy.

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SMS and privacy: Beware of cyber criminals

SMS and privacyBecause of outdated security protocols e Lack of encryptionSMS is very easy Intercept and control Also by Less experienced hackers. Mobile phone networks around the world are interconnected by protocol Signal System No. 7 (SS7), which allows you to receive and make calls, as well as send and receive text messages SS7 protocol Offers some Highly susceptible That was never resolved and that is why it is often a topic Hacker attacks, Who had easy access to sensitive information. Information that is often used to deceive users.

Two-factor authentication and SMS: risks and solutions

SMS and privacyease SMS hack It makes it especially dangerous, because it is often precisely these messages that are used Protection systems Online accounts such as Two-factor documentation. This means that it may be easy for an experienced hacker to bypass the two-factor authentication system and gain access to a user’s account, such as online banking or an e-commerce site where the payment card is saved for exploitation. If SMS continues to be used for two-factor authentication, it is not for their security, nor for the ability to maintain privacy, but only because all users who browse the Internet have Online account It is equipped with a smart phone and phone number To be associated with it.

To make two-factor authentication secure, the advice is not to rely on codes sent SMS interceptionInstead, use apps like Google Authenticator. Once linked to an account, these apps are constantly generated Temporary codes can be disposed of Which are difficult to identify and exploit by cyber criminals to achieve their goals.

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SMS and privacy: solvable weaknesses?

SMS and privacyText messages like short message Now considered Outdated, Also due to the widespread use of the internet and messaging app, but companies like Apple and Google have long been working on systems to make them more secure. For example, if there are two users using l’appiMessagge They will be able to send text messages to each other that pass through a file Apple Server And protect it End-to-end encryption. However, if the message is sent to a user, that is It does not use iMessage, Maybe a user with an Android smartphone, the encryption fails and the conversation will not be secure. Instead, Google runs the implementation on its own Android smartphone If a standard Rich communication services (RCS) to send and receive SMS, but this protocol does not yet support end-to-end encryption, and therefore cannot be considered privacy-protected. So if you are someone who still uses SMS, you will have to give it up and opt for more secure encrypted messaging apps to keep your privacy.

Are you sure you are protecting your data and connected devices over the Internet? Download our free e-book to learn tips and tricks to increase your safety on the Internet.

Samantha Arnold

<p class="sign">"Web fanatic. Travel scholar. Certified music evangelist. Coffee expert. Unapologetic internet guru. Beer nerd."</p>

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