How to Prevent a SIM Swap Attack as SEC Falls Prey

SIM swapping is a malicious technique employed by cyber attackers to gain unauthorized access to unsuspecting victims’ accounts.

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  • The SEC suffered a SIM swap attack a day before the Bitcoin ETF approval.
  • Several sophisticated attack methods plague the industry.
  • Investors are advised to exercise caution and remain vigilant to ensure protection against such attacks.

From phishing scams to rug pulls, the threat actors that prey on the crypto industry employ several techniques. SIM swap attacks have emerged as one of the most weaponized, granting unauthorized parties control of an individual’s or organization’s mobile phone number by transferring the number to a new SIM card. 

SIM swap attacks are often carried out to access valuable information linked to phone numbers and various accounts, including financial accounts such as crypto wallets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the latest to fall victim to this technique, highlighting the tenacity of these malicious actors even in the face of those regulating the financial industry.

To help you avoid falling victim to a similar fate, we’ve highlighted some tips and key safety practices to help you stay safe from SIM swap attacks and other similar threats in the crypto industry.

How to Stay Safe from an SEC-Like SIM Swap

The SEC SIM swap attack occurred due to the lack of core security layers, such as two-factor or multi-factor authentication on its X account. It allowed unauthorized personnel to facilitate a password reset and take over operations.

  • Use two-factor authentication: Activating and employing authentication tools is crucial to preventing account loss, as is using strong passwords on all sites and devices, including your mobile carrier accounts.
  • Use authentication apps: Instead, avoid relying solely on SMS-based 2FA and adopt more secure methods like app-based authentication.
  • Utilize additional, personalized measures: if you use your mobile device for your finances, consider setting up PINs and security questions for your mobile accounts.
  • Maintain security: Conduct frequent security assessments, such as reviewing updated security-focused policies and configuration settings, to identify and address potential weaknesses in your accounts.
  • Be suspicious and always double-check: Be wary of emails or forms that ask for your contact and sensitive financial information. Firms rarely, if ever, request information from you in an email or message and will rarely provide links to such forms on a website.

Signs of a SIM Swap Attack

One of the most glaring signs of a SIM swap attack is a password reset notification for your online accounts that you did not initiate. If you are locked out of an account or your regular passwords are not working, you may already have suffered an exploit.

Similarly, alerts of unusual changes to your accounts, such as unauthorized transactions or posts, may cause concern. These indicators often signify that an attacker is attempting to or has gained control of a phone number and associated accounts.

If you notice these signs, you can stop or mitigate the impact of such attacks by promptly notifying your mobile carrier of a potential SIM swap. Passwords for accounts holding sensitive information should also be changed immediately to prevent damage.

Find out more about the attack on the SEC and its impact:
SEC Claims ‘SIM Swap’ Attack Behind X Account Breach 

Read more on similar scams targeting crypto investors:
Trust Wallet Warns of KYC Email Scam: How To Stay Safe

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.