2-factor authentication may be hackable, expert says

This code shows a session cookie, which Kevin Mitnick, the chief hacking officer at KnowBe4, a cybersecurity company that trains people to spot phishing, or spoofed emails, says can be used to bypass two-factor authentication.


This code reveals a session cookie, which Kevin Mitnick, the chief hacking officer at KnowBe4, a cybersecurity firm that trains folks to identify phishing, or spoofed emails, says can be utilized to bypass two-factor authentication.

Mitnick confirmed CNBC that he was in a position to enter that code into his browser. “After I hit refresh I’ll be magically logged into the victims account,” he mentioned.

Mitnick used LinkedIn to demo the assault for CNBC, however mentioned many different web sites are additionally susceptible. The e-mail he clicked on appeared like an actual LinkedIn connection request — however truly got here from a pretend area, lnked.com. He mentioned most individuals could not notice the distinction.

“It isn’t LinkedIn that is susceptible. It is the precise consumer… It is a safety flaw with the human,” Mitnick mentioned.

In a press release, Mary-Katharine Juric, a LinkedIn spokesperson, advised CNBC that the skilled community took Mitnick’s demonstration “very critically,” and that LinkedIn has “plenty of technical measures in place to guard our members from fraudulent exercise together with phishing scams.”

She added: “Once we detect such a exercise, we work to shortly take away it and forestall future re-occurrences. We strongly encourage members to report any messages or postings they consider are scams, and make the most of our member assist middle as a useful resource to coach and shield themselves from frauds on-line.”

This assault is an element of what’s generally known as social engineering, when hackers make the most of human conduct to get you to do one thing, like click on on a hyperlink. One other method to shield your self is to pay shut consideration to e mail you get, even when you use two-factor authentication.

“Social engineering when you do it proper can be utilized to get into virtually something,” mentioned Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4’S CEO.

To guard from assaults like this one, some corporations are making instruments known as safety keys.

As a substitute of sending a code to your mobile phone, safety keys — which appear to be a keychain — include a chip, and use Bluetooth or USB to be the extra issue wanted to log into your account. Not too long ago, Google launched its personal model of the gadget, which it calls the Titan Safety Key.


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