SMS spoofing is a technique by which someone can send you text messages impersonating anybody. SMS spoofing, also known as SMS phishing, uses a wireless device to send outgoing text messages (SMS) and social media messages that falsely appear to come from a different sender. It allows an individual to impersonate another person and contact people on their contact lists without their knowledge.
Some users of SMS spoofing software may engage in this activity for malicious reasons. For instance, they may send unsolicited text messages with malware attached that will activate upon opening it, or they may optionally include promotional offers running scams such as ‘clicking here, which lead the victim to a website that asks them for credit card information or passwords.
There are quite a few tricks that can be used to help mitigate the risk of SMS spoofing. Be sure to turn on two-factor authentication, usually referred to as “2FA.” SMS spoofing or SIM swapping is the act of masquerading as someone over text messaging through an online account by fooling wireless carriers with stolen credentials.
Hackers do this with mobile phone numbers, which are then connected with an IP address associated with their target’s account. When you install 2FA, your phone will require verification codes sent via text message before allowing access to the account.
Here are other ways to prevent SMS Spoofing:
- Clicking on links you receive via text message can compromise your security. When an SMS asks for urgent action, visit the website directly and not click through to another site or download any attachments to avoid being redirected away from what was sent originally.
- If you receive an SMS with fund transfer information, check your bank/wallet balance by logging in directly. Don’t automatically click on the link.
- The first rule of thumb when it comes to SMS is that you should never give your details through this medium. The banks, service providers, and telecommunication companies don’t ask for it.
What is the History of SMS Spoofing?
One of the oldest problems in history is now being addressed by technology. SMS spoofing has been around for centuries, and as we speak, it’s an issue that affects our current generation and those who come after us. The history of SMS spoofing began way before the year 1200. In 1271, Sultan Baybars captured Krak des Chevaliers with a forged letter telling him to surrender. Knights surrendered to the fake letter, and from then, many SMS messages were spoofed.
SMS spoofing may be one of the oldest ways to seize control from one tribe to another. The principles of spoofing may also be one war strategy during warfare and combat.
In contrast, Europe is one of two places where it’s easiest for a user to send an unrecognized message, with Australia being another great location because they have similar networks.
The chances of a successfully spoofed SMS going through to your mobile phone in the US or Canada are slim-to-none. The reason behind this is still unclear, but it seems like carriers set themselves up with technological protection against these kinds of messages being sent out directly from their networks.
Sending an SMS message to the United States without being traced is not an easy feat, but it’s possible with some research and work. One way would be to use anonymous text messaging websites or web proxies coupled with your messages to remain confidential.
How Does SMS Spoofing Work?
As known, SMS spoofing is a technique that can be used to send messages on behalf of another entity. SMS spoofing works in different ways. It involves changing something like the sender’s name and phone number to seem as if you are sending from their account when they’re not.
It sounds pretty straightforward, but there are some precautions one needs to take before resorting to this strategy. There is a text message forgery tool in the social engineer kit of Backtrack and other versions of Kali Linux. All it takes is this one little program that will allow you to send text messages from another person’s phone number/name pretending to be them.
There are even simpler ways to execute SMS spoofing without using SET in Kali Linux, such as utilizing an online service. Yes, there are “businesses” offering fake messages on the internet. These platforms can be easily accessed by anyone with basic computer knowledge and only require some money for activation costs, which will allow them to send out any message they want at a low price.
What is an SMS Spoofing Attack Vector?
SMS Spoofing Attack Vectors are designed to fool mobile phone users into giving their personal information by disguising messages as being sent from a trusted source. This attack is typically delivered via an email message containing a link or executable file. Once clicked, the attacker gains access to the victim’s messages and subsequently sends out messages on their behalf.
The goal here is to convince the victims that they are talking with their trusted person, so they willingly provide, send, or disclose private information. Several individuals can be impersonated using this tactic at once with mixed success rates depending on the number of simultaneous recipients, and which attack vector was used for spoofing.
Can SMS Spoofing be Detected?
Yes, sms spoofing can be detected but not 100% outright. SMS spoofing is detectable because each text message has a unique identity that can be traced back to its originating phone number. Mobile phone providers track this information for billing data.
They may also voluntarily provide the information to law enforcement agencies for investigations or security purposes if they request it under their wiretapping laws. The general assumption is that access rights required are far more extensive than those needed to monitor data usage reports provided by mobile carriers.
Thus, this type of request should not be complex for law enforcement officers to obtain, even in jurisdictions where warrants would not normally be issued without probable cause.
Is SMS Spoofing Legal?
Yes. SMS spoofing is legal in selected cases. SMS spoofing is a tool that can protect the sender’s identity when they are at risk. In some cases, this protection becomes even more critical because of what will happen if their true self gets exposed, including being targeted by criminals and those who want them silenced. Hence, it makes sense why many people would rely on SMS spoofs for anonymity purposes then.
It is legal for an organization to spoof messages when they are carrying out bulk messaging services. These messages let people know that it’s from them, but only by displaying the same “sender ID” or phone number as before.
Organizations are allowed to use SMS spoofing legally when they send messages branded as official ones. The organizations include banks, social media platforms, and network providers, so it’s easy for the customers to identify that these particular messages are coming from a specific company or organization specifically because of changing numbers in texts.
What are the Legitimate Uses of SMS Spoofing?
Bulk Messaging Services: Bulk messaging is a service that lets you send an SMS notification to lots of recipients at once. It’s used by small businesses or large companies to make announcements, for customer service, or offer deals. Note that the price per message tends to be lower for bulk messaging because the providers attract more customers who send only one text instead of individual messages.
Official Messages: Official Messages are announcements, photos, videos, and other content curated by an enterprise, government, or institution. An Official Message comes directly from an official account, not a customer support representative or another third party.
Identity Protection: SMS Spoofing is a tactic to spoof your SMS from one number to another. Essentially it’s able to send texts from any phone as if they came from a specific number. It can be used as a deterrent for those who want sensitive information. It’s important to note that this is a technique used to avoid spam contact.
Ownership of this technique, in theory, ensures that all personal information is encrypted before being sent through the transmission channel. If a perceptive is aware of where you are at all times, they will have no access or insight into how your secured information is being transmitted.
Does Sending Spoof SMS Free?
No, spoof texts cost money. Whether you’re paying for your plan month-to-month, every time you send an SMS, download a data package from your carrier, or pay for internet access on your phone – these are all services that require payment in exchange for use. In other words, sending a spoofed SMS will carry with it some responsibility and cost passing onto the consumer in one form or another.
What is the Misuse of SMS Spoofing?
The misuse of SMS spoofing is when someone disguises their number and sends text messages to the target’s phone from a fictitious number. It is sometimes used for purposes like tricking people into purchasing items, filling in surveys and password information, downloading infected files, and even damaging businesses by post criticizing or promoting practices.
Below are some ways to misuse SMS spoofing:
- Smishing: Smishing or SMS phishing is a scam that takes place via short message service (SMS) messages. These are the texts you receive on your phone through a cellular carrier. They can be used to communicate with consumers and employees to manipulate them into giving out personal information like passwords.
- Fake Money Transfers: If you receive an unexpected text message from your credit card company asking for verification information, don’t panic. It is most likely due to fraudsters using SMS (Short Message Service) spoofing to obtain sensitive account data about the person who purchased with their debit or bank account number associated at some point after making online purchases.
- Personal Reasons: SMS Spoofing can be a powerful tool in the hands of an unsuspecting individual. It’s not only possible to create your own identity (and impersonate others), but also carry out pranks, stalkings, tricks, or abuse against someone else.
What are the SMS Spoofing Apps?
SMS spoofing apps are a type of application that can be used to make phone calls from another number when downloaded by a user and launched. Here are some of the most popular SMS spoofing apps you can use:
- Phoner: The Phoner app is a great way to get your secondary phone number, and it’s easy. With it, you can have a personal or business number with integrated reverse phone lookup that records calls made to your cell (or landline), an anonymous call checker. Thus, no one knows who’s bothering you. Private messaging capabilities, as well as international coverage, are possible with Phoner.
- Secret Text Anonymous Texting: Secret Text is a new way to have confidential conversations with the people in your life. You can either send private texts or pretend like you’re someone else by creating an alias and adding notes about that contact only they will know! It also comes equipped with features like PIN protection.
- TILT: It’s never been easier to create images that display hidden secret messages. TILT is a revolutionary new app, the first of its kind. Take any scribbled image and tilt your phone nearly flat against it when viewing from directly above. Tilt is more inclined in sending secret messages the receiver must decipher to be able to read through.
- Prank Call App: Prank Dial has various features that will help you make your friends believe they’re getting calls from celebrities, strangers, or whoever. With this app, it’s easy to record any situation and then playback the recording at just the right time for some good old-fashioned pranking.
How Can Users Protect Themselves Against SMS Spoofing?
Users can protect themselves against SMS spoofing in various ways. While SMS spoofing is hard to prevent, there are some steps you can take to decrease your risk. First, always verify that the sender’s phone number matches the country code of the one that’s displayed on your screen before reading any text or click links.
Second, if you want to safeguard yourself against receiving fraudulent texts (e.g., spam), contact your service provider and request a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Third, if you’re not expecting any calls or texts from a number with the same country code as yours, block it to ensure that no one can send spoofed messages in your name. And remember always to stay vigilant and make sure you don’t fall victim to this modern-day scam.
Furthermore, make sure to check their phone numbers in your telephone’s address book before replying. Don’t reply until you’ve looked up their contact information on a reputable site that compiles accurate contact data. Another way to reduce the chances of being SMS spoofed is by making it clear when scheduling a meeting with someone that you will only receive messages between certain hours during a predetermined period.
What is the Difference Between SMS Spoofing and Smishing?
SMS spoofing and smishing are two different scams that use SMS messages to steal information from unsuspecting victims.
- In general, SMS spoofing allows a scammer to send you text messages impersonating someone else’s phone number in an attempt to obtain your personal or financial information.
- In contrast, smishing is used when scammers send you text messages claiming to be from a financial institution or credit card company in an attempt to trick you into providing sensitive information such as passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, and more.
Can SMS Short Codes be Spoofed?
Not easily. When you get contacted through the text message, it’s easy to figure out who sent them since there is no need for an input tone of voice or character set to change to make yourself seem more convincing than whoever initiated contact with your recipient. The shortcode messages are safer because they can’t be easily spoofed like a regular 10-digit phone number.
How to Prove SMS Spoofing?
To prove SMS spoofing, there are some things you must do.
- It’s important to know the difference between a legitimate message and one that may be spam. Sometimes, spammers will add false information for you not to want to be read or respond.
- Spoofed messages come in many different forms, but one of the most reliable ways to know if it’s an actual email from someone or not is by checking your message center.
- If you have call logs from when the spoofed message was sent, you can compare them to check how many calls were exchanged in that period and verify if any were missed or if any numbers did not correspond with other cell conversations.
- You may also contact your carrier and get logs from them, or if you have an extra phone handy, try calling the person who supposedly texted to see what happens.
- Call or text them on a separate line to confirm the person who has been texting you.
- If you think you are being spoofed, you may ask questions related to their personal life.
All in all, it’s going to be tough without evidence that a text did not come from your device-either a screenshot or a receipt that doesn’t match up, but there are always clues worth looking for.