4 Tricks Hackers Use to Outsmart MFA with Social Engineering

February 12, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: Hackers can bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA) through social engineering tactics. The article explores four common methods used by hackers to breach MFA systems. These include adversary-in-the-middle (AITM) attacks, MFA prompt bombing, service desk attacks, and SIM swapping. The article emphasizes the importance of strong passwords as part of a layered defense. It also highlights that organizations cannot solely rely on MFA for security and should continue to focus on securing passwords. The article concludes by recommending the use of tools like Specops Password Policy to enforce robust password policies and eliminate weak passwords.

In terms of specific tactics, AITM attacks involve deceiving users through fraudulent websites, phishing emails, and counterfeit login pages. MFA prompt bombing takes advantage of push notifications in authentication apps and relies on users mistaking or becoming frustrated with continuous prompts. Service desk attacks involve social engineering techniques to bypass MFA through phone calls and password reset requests. SIM swapping exploits the reliance on cell phones for MFA by tricking service providers into transferring control of a target’s SIM card and intercepting MFA prompts.

The article concludes by stating that MFA cannot be solely relied upon and organizations should continue to focus on securing passwords. It mentions that compromised passwords often serve as the initial entry point for attackers, and even a strong password cannot protect against compromise through breaches or password reuse. Tools like Specops Password Policy are recommended to enforce strong password policies and continuously scan for compromised passwords.

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