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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 22, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Hackers paying $32K for old Nokia phones

Time to check the Goodwill’s cellphone bin: Hackers in Europe are offering up to $32,000 for a certain type of phone made at a now defunct factory in Bochum, Germany.

Apparently these Nokia 1100 phones are particularly easy to use in a bank fraud scheme involving authentication messages sent by European banks, according to an IGN story picked up by PC World.

It sounds like something out of a novel:

The 1100 can apparently be reprogrammed to use someone else’s phone number, which would also let the device receive text messages. That capability opens up an opportunity for online banking fraud.

In countries such as Germany, banks send an mTAN (mobile Transaction Authentication Number) to a person’s mobile phone that must be entered into a Web-based form in order to, for example, transfer money into another account. A TAN can only be used once, a security feature known as a one-time passcode.

Nokia said it’s unaware of any software vulnerability that’s particular to the Bochum-made 1100s.

Comments | More in | Topics: Gadgets & products, identity theft, nokia

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