SIM Cards from Mobile Phones May Face Special Attacks, Experts Say

SIM cards could be facing significant threats from cyber deviants and criminals, some experts reveal. This new type of crime targets Subscriber Identity Module Cards or SIM cards and it is quickly threatening banks and mobile telecoms.

The Birth of a New Technological Crime

Malicious programs that target the SIM cards of mobile phones emerged in response to the growth of mobile banking. The growing number of people, who use their phones to carry out bank transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, and transfers, are now attracting cyber crooks and “techy” criminals. According to experts, this type of crime involves stealing information from a user’s SIM card in order to create new SIM Cards. The new SIM card can then be used to access bank information and also to redirect passwords to the criminal’s phone.

About SIM Cards and NFC Chips

SIM cards are small, transferable smart cards that contain or store information that enables the telecom companies to authenticate transactions. The use of SIM cards in mobile banking transactions is a preferred method to secure transactions. Transactions made through ISIS and telecoms utilize authentication through the SIM card to verify the transactions. Other technologies in securing mobile transactions involve NFCs or Near Field Communication. This type of technology is utilized by Smartphones. NFCs enable manufactures to have more control over the transactions.

SIM Card Attack

The latest attack on SIM cards involved the use of Gozi Trojan to steal IMEI numbers from the users upon logging in to their mobile bank accounts. Once the IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers are in the hands of the crook, he or she can contact the service provider and report that the SIM card or the mobile phone is lost. The crook would then ask for a new SIM card and once this new SIM card is acquired, significant information such as passwords can then be sent to the crook’s mobile device and then they can take control of the victim’s banking transactions.

Gartner analyst and VP said that NFCs and SIM cards embedded in the secure element are highly secured. Vulnerabilities and issues to this security do not stem out from the chip or the card itself but from the processes and applications surrounding them. People and the processes are said to be the weakest links.

One expert suggests users should use strong verification or authentication in a second venue for the issuance of their SIM cards. Another expert says that mobile carriers must not set up to be the issuers of credit cards. Mobile carriers need to set up password protections similar to the issuers of the credit cards.

It is evident that mobile banking still has large loopholes when it comes to security. According to some mobile banking experts, this may be due to the lack of attacks in the current system. Experts are hoping that the growing demand for mobile banking will instigate breaches that would then drive aggressive security measures to protect the software and its processes. There is high hope that the lag in security will change as soon as possible.

This post is written by Dr. Amarendra, the guest author who writes at http://www.simonly-deals.com which is a great resource for comparison and finding plans.