Computer hackers bypass the beefed up security of your accounts
According to a report from Amnesty International, phishers are becoming increasingly able to automatically bypass the two-step authentication process that many websites and online services use as an additional layer of security.
Two-step authentication is a security technique that involves you needing a second component (often a code sent to you by text message, for example) in addition to your password so that you can access your account. This prevents anyone who manages to find out your password from hacking your account. Increasing numbers of websites are using this technique.
So it was only a matter of time before computer hackers found a way to get round this problem. And they do so by using cloned versions of well-known websites, such as Facebook, Gmail, Protonmail, Yahoo and so on, using a URL that is very similar and virtually impossible to distinguish at first glance (such as protonemail.ch instead of protonmail.ch). Moreover, the cloned websites also use HTTPS and a green padlock appears just like it does on the original site.
Victims of the scam are directed to the cloned website by clicking on a link in a phishingmail. If they then try to log in to that website, it will do the same in the background as the real website, which then sends the victim a verification code. If the victim also enters that code on the cloned website, the hacker gets access to the victim's account and has succeeded.
However, this does not affect the benefits of two-step authentication in terms of security. And by being vigilant and following our advice, you can avoid falling into the trap.
- Always be suspicious if you receive an email asking you to connect to one of your accounts, for any reason.
- Never simply just click on links in emails, but always go to the real webpage yourself. Not sure about whether a link is genuine? Have it scanned on www.virustotal.com.
- Use an antivirus program with an anti-phishing function. Need help choosing an antivirus program? View our comparison tool on www.testachats.be/comparerantivirus.