Coinbase, the US crypto exchange, got hacked by anonymous hackers who leveraged the SMS recovery system of the exchange and stole crypto from more than 6000 customers. The two-factor authentication system is very popular in the world of finance; it is when someone tries to change a very extraordinary setting in their account or is about to make a transaction, the two-factor authentication system kicks in.
It sends a verification code via SMS to the user’s phone, which then they type into the dedicated block for the transaction to go through or for the setting to be changed. The hacker, according to Coinbase, was able to not only bypass the SMS dual-factor authentication mechanism of the exchange but also steal crypto funds from 6000 users, give or take. The breach of the customer accounts took place between March and 20th May; there was this vile hacking campaign going on about that time which comprised of not only phishing scams but also multiple vulnerability exploits on the exchange’s security measures.
Coinbase enjoys a thrifting load of more than 68 million users tapping in from more than 100 countries. When the vulnerability assessment of this incident was conducted, it was found that hackers couldn’t do anything just by tapping into the multi-factor authentication system of the exchange. They needed access to the user’s passwords, phone numbers as well as email addresses. As if it was not enough the access to users’ email accounts was also required. It remains still unclear how hackers managed to gain their hands on such delicate information, but somehow they managed to do so.
The primary targets in this recent cyber hack were those who used SMS and text alerts and had two-factor authentication turned on for their accounts. Some of them were also hit in the account recovery process because it usually asks for a code which is sent to the user’s registered mobile phone via SMS, and hackers, by acquiring that code acquired access to the complete account of the users, this is how this whole thing transpired.