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On Amazon AWS as part of the registration process you need to provide your telephone number. Then, after pressing Call me now button a PIN number displays on the same site and you get a phone call where you're asked to input that PIN on your phone.

What is the purpose of this security feature? Are there any vectors against which it protects or is it just a security theater?

  • 3
    Sounds like they're just verifying that you're not lying about your phone number. Otherwise you could just enter any number you want. – Ajedi32 Nov 30 '16 at 16:45
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Besides proving that the phone number is correct, a verification by phone helps to combat spam. It's much easier to create a high amount of fake accounts with verified email addresses than with verified phone numbers.

Google explains why they do that, too:

Why Google asks for your phone number to verify your account

In an effort to protect our users from abuse, we sometimes ask users to prove they’re not a robot before they're able to create or sign in to accounts. Having this additional confirmation via phone is an effective way to keep spammers from abusing our systems.

  • Does Google and other companies use and share that link between Website Account and Mobile Connection with Law Enforcements? (without court warrant and here I am not asking about NSA Programmes like Prism etc.. – CrownedEagle Nov 30 '16 at 20:25
  • @CrownedEagle Google claims they only use it for verification and nothing else. Beyond that you have to speculate. – Arminius Nov 30 '16 at 20:29

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