https://www.wsj.com/articles/he-thought-his-phone-was-secure-then-he-lost-24-million-to-hackers-11573221600

Per the above story (open in incognito mode to avoid paywall), Terpin was using Google Authenticator:

“Mr. Terpin believes employees at an AT&T authorized dealer handed hackers control of his phone number, and those hackers found a way into his digital wallets by breaking into accounts of his that couldn’t be protected by Authenticator.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say my security protections were a 9.8 or higher,” he said. “But these hackers, all they do is they sit around in a basement and figure out ways of hacking people.””

The first lesson is to not leave $24 million in hot storage, but if you’re in the process of buying or selling bitcoin for fiat online you will eventually be somewhat vulnerable. So I’m wondering, how would a hacker get into say a Binance or Coinbase account of someone who has Google Authenticator enabled (which both support)? The only way I can think is that the hacker would impersonate Terpin and contact Binance/Coinbase and say they lost their phone and need to recover the account. I believe this method takes several days at least during which Terpin would know his phone was stolen and he’d be able to at least call Binance/Coinbase and tell them to freeze his account. Is something not adding up?



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