Instagram to Introduce Non-SMS Two-Factor Authentication to Prevent SIM Hacking

by

Instagram is planning to introduce a new two-factor authentication method that will not require a user's phone number and will instead work with authentication apps like Google Authenticator, reports TechCrunch.

Authentication apps are a safer two-factor option than the phone number method, which can be bypassed through SIM hacking, as outlined earlier today by VICE's Motherboard.

Image via TechCrunch

SIM hacking involves hijacking a person's phone number by manipulating cellular service support staff and claiming a SIM card has been lost.

Creating a new SIM associated with the phone number allows it to be stolen, and if that phone number is associated with a social networking account, as it would be with Instagram's current two-factor authentication method, the results can be devastating.

In Motherboard's article, for example, SIM hacking is used to steal Instagram accounts, which can be lucrative when highly desired usernames are poached.

Instagram is especially vulnerable to this kind of attack because right now, when you turn on Instagram's two-factor authentication, account codes and password reset requests are sent via your phone number.

Instagram has already been testing the new two-factor authentication method, with screenshots and details baked into the code for the Instagram Android app. This code was discovered by a TechCrunch tipster, who also shared screenshots.

An Instagram spokesperson confirmed the screenshots are legitimate and said Instagram is "continuing to improve the security of Instagram accounts, including strengthening 2-factor authentication."

It is not yet clear when Instagram plans to roll out the new two-factor authentication method, but it could come soon as it appears to be nearly finished based on the screenshots.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
27 months ago

I’d rather an option for all services to have no two factor authentication. It’s a real bother for those who take the time to use a password manager to generate strong, unique passwords. Then store said passwords in an encrypted vault protected by one strong password.

At least create a standard for two factor authentication. So our password managers can automatically receive and fill the code.

As it stands. Two factor just increases login time.

I find it hilarious when im logging into iCloud on my Mac and it asks me for two factor, and then sends the code to the freakin laptop cause it’s already authorized. I would love to see a standardized two factor login.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Please, just stop promoting google auth.
There are plenty of BETTER and open source apps out there to talk about.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

I’d rather an option for all services to have no two factor authentication. It’s a real bother for those who take the time to use a password manager to generate strong, unique passwords. Then store said passwords in an encrypted vault protected by one strong password.

At least create a standard for two factor authentication. So our password managers can automatically receive and fill the code.

As it stands. Two factor just increases login time.

1Password handles TFA with One-Time Passcodes if you use their app.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
These apps are just distractions to me. They are generally fun to scroll and get a chuckle or see something interesting. But if they are unable to secure their systems, and instead start to make me have to download another app to use their app, and click multiple times to get into an app that is at best a fun diversion, then I will just delete my account and the app and move on.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...