Smartphone users beware: Don’t share verification codes


by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) yesterday warned all smartphone users not to share their verification codes for applications such as Viber, WhatsApp and IMO with other mobile users.

SLCERT Senior Security Information Engineer Roshan Chandragupta told The Island that it had received several complaints from mobile phone users that their phone numbers had been used to create fake smartphone messaging applications using Viber,WhatsApp and IMO.

He said: "It was reported that some people have created fake smartphone messaging applications by using the phone number of another person. The person whose number has been used to create the fake account has received phone calls from different people."

Those who had created the fake accounts had asked the mobile users to send the verification code by pretending that it had been sent mistakenly, he said.

Those fake accounts could be used for different purposes and therefore all mobile users should be vigilant not to share any sort of verification code with another person, Chandragupta stressed.

SLCERT requested those who had already shared such verification codes with another to deactivate their existing mobile application and to get a fresh copy and create a new account.

Highlighting the number of incidents reported relating to social media accounts specially Facebook and twitter, Chandraguptha noted that it had received 2,500 complaints and about 80 percent of them were regarding fake Facebook accounts.

Around 60 percent of those complaints were received from women, he said.

In 2016, the number of incidents reported was about 2,200 for the first ten months of the year, he said, adding that the SLCERT couldn’t indicate whether there had been an increase in number of incidents this year as the number of Facebook users increased annually.


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