Cybersecurity has been the biggest priority for businesses for years. And in a post-COVID world, many organizations have reinforced their overall cybersecurity hygiene.
However, cybercriminals are working to compromise weak defense lines, especially in newly-adopted remote-working environments. Hence, increasing the overall threat vector in the digital world.
And one new threat, i.e., the 2FA bypass attack, is creating severe challenges for organizations embarking on a digital transformation journey.
2FA bypass attacks are cyberattacks intended for account takeover when hackers have already accessed the credentials of a particular account, and they bypass the second layer of authentication in several ways.
2FA bypass attacks aren’t uncommon these days, and every organization is putting its best efforts into mitigating the chances of a compromised user/client account.
Let’s understand the aspects associated with 2FA bypass attacks and how businesses can shield themselves from the growing number of threats.
2FA bypass attacks are cyberattacks resulting from compromised credentials and compromised additional layers of authentication, including SMS-based OTP authentication and email authentication.
Many businesses face financial and reputational damages when their users’ or employees’ accounts are compromised due to 2FA bypassing.
Cybercriminals attack weak defense systems once they have acquired the user ID and password and then initiate a process to bypass the second layer of authentication.
If you’re not careful about protecting your data from such attacks, there could be dire consequences for your business and your customers’ safety.
For example, hackers might use stolen user credentials to access confidential information about employees or clients; this could lead to financial loss for businesses or identity theft for customers.
Hackers may also use stolen credentials to create fake accounts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter; this could lead to reputation loss for businesses and cyberbullying or harassment of customers by selling their details on the dark web.
An SMS-based attack could either be initiated by a SIM swap or interception of the SS7 network. And this SS7 protocol is quite a common choice within most network providers and can be quickly exploited since it has several security flaws.
It allows attackers to intercept text messages containing OTPs sent by users. There are various ways to do it: hacking into mobile networks or intercepting them during transit. This can happen if your mobile provider has been compromised or an attacker has gained access to your phone number through social engineering tactics like SIM swaps.
These kinds of attacks are intended to exploit multi-factor authentication. Hence, when a user receives an OTP, hackers may alter the seed value generated by the authentication mechanism to create a duplicate OTP.
Also, various fake applications are available in the market, leveraging phishing practices and generating codes or accessing the codes sent on the user’s smartphone. And minor negligence while analyzing these apps could lead to a greater security risk.
A man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attack occurs when an attacker intercepts and distributes messages between two participants who think they are interacting directly and securely.
Participants who send emails, instant messages, or video conferencing are unaware that an attacker has inserted themselves into the conversation and is collecting and manipulating their information.
These kinds of attacks may affect the privacy of a user/employee and may result in fatal consequences.
Risk-based authentication (RBA), also called adaptive authentication, monitors consumers’ identity and access using stringent rules. The objective is to authenticate a user profile before allowing access to ensure it is not a threat. These restrictions become more stringent with increasing risks.
Risk-based authentication works on a model that requires permission and response. A user asks for permission to access a file or software. In response, the file or software responds by presenting options to log in using an ID and password or sending mail or OTP to a registered contact number.
With the growing threat vector and an increasing number of cyberattacks through 2FA bypass, brands must ensure their overall cybersecurity posture is potent enough to handle a threat.
Also, with robust security mechanisms, including risk-based authentication, businesses can stay assured and protected against any multi-factor bypass attacks.