Report: Exploitation of eSIM Vulnerabilities by SIM Swappers for Phone Numbers


According to a report from BleepingComputer, SIM swappers have adapted their tactics to steal phone numbers by transferring them onto new eSIM cards. These eSIMs, embedded within mobile device chips, offer similar functionality to physical SIM cards but enable remote reprogramming.

eSIMs, or Embedded Subscriber Identity Modules, are stored digitally on mobile device chips and can be remotely reprogrammed. They offer functionalities like activation and deactivation through QR code scans provided by service providers.

The report highlights a surge in eSIM exploitation by SIM swappers worldwide, as noted by F.A.C.C.T., a Russian cybersecurity firm. Cybercriminals manipulate eSIM functionalities to bypass security measures and gain control over phone numbers, granting them unauthorized access to sensitive accounts.

Attackers now exploit vulnerabilities in mobile accounts using stolen credentials rather than relying solely on social engineering or insider assistance. They initiate number porting to a new device by generating QR codes within hijacked accounts, effectively taking control of the victim’s number.

Once in possession of the victim’s number, cybercriminals exploit it for various fraudulent activities, including accessing banking services and messenger apps.

To mitigate such risks, users are advised to strengthen passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and consider additional security measures such as physical keys or authenticator apps for critical accounts.

In conclusion, the proliferation of eSIM technology has inadvertently provided SIM swappers with new opportunities for exploitation. As cyber threats continue to evolve, users must remain vigilant and implement robust security practices to safeguard their digital assets and personal information.