Hacker Kevin Mitnick demonstrates a phishing attack designed to abuse multi-factor authentication and take over targets' accounts.
Businesses and consumers around the world are encouraged to adopt two-factor authentication as a means of strengthening login security. But 2FA isn't ironclad: attackers are finding ways to circumvent the common best practice. In this case, they use social engineering.
A new exploit, demonstrated by KnowBe4 chief hacking officer Kevin Mitnick, lets threat actors access target accounts with a phishing attack. The tool to do this was originally developed by white hat hacker Kuba Gretzky, who dubbed it evilginx and explains it in a technical blog post.
It starts with typosquatting, a practice in which hackers create malicious URLs designed to look similar to websites people know. Mitnick starts his demo by opening a fake email from LinkedIn and points out its origin is "llnked.com" - a misspelling people will likely overlook.
Those who fall for the trick and click the email's malicious link are redirected to a login page where they enter their username, password, and eventually an authentication code sent to their mobile device. Meanwhile, the attacker can see a separate window where the victim's username, password, and a different six-digit code are displayed.
"This is not the actual 6-digit code that was intercepted, because you can't use the 6-digit code again," Mitnick says in the demo. "What we were able to do was intercept the session cookie."
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