Community-driven hospitality company Airbnb on Friday announced a new set of mandatory security measures, including multi-factor authentication to prevent account takeovers. Owing to this, the hosts and guests logging in from new devices to the Airbnb site will have to verify their identity with a second account, either via SMS or email, as reported by The Verge. One of the most common security breaches is to hack into somebody’s account. Normally, this would mean access to someone’s email. With regards to Airbnb, hacking into an account could give a hacker the access to the account holder’s confidential information. Therefore, in the interest of data protection, it is necessary to implement some stringent security measures.
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Airbnb is currently using predictive models, trained using machine learning techniques that look for uncharacteristic behavior to flag. For instance, if the account is seeing an abnormal number of login attempts or a login from a foreign country, Airbnb’s system might ask for an additional confirmation that the person logged in is truly the host. Unfortunately, the company says this isn’t enough and both guests and hosts have suffered lost funds and fraudulent bookings as a result.
With this latest update installed and implemented, users will now receive SMS alerts, enabling them to stay up to date about changes made to their account in the event a stranger has gained unauthorised access.