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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Watch out for this huge multimillion-dollar scheme to steal your cellphone and social media account

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A latest Department of Justice (DOJ) case highlights a scheme that hijacks social media and mobile phone accounts and nets criminals hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

In a latest case involving an unlawful apply referred to as “SIM-swapping,” criminals conspired to take management of accounts and steal cryptocurrency, in accordance with the Department of Justice.

One of many conspirators, Declan Harrington, 21, of Massachusetts, pleaded responsible to a number of counts together with conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated id theft, in accordance with the Massachusetts U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace

SIM-swapping has turn out to be a profitable felony enterprise over the previous few years, pushed by the rise of flush cryptocurrency accounts that may be value hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

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Harrington and co-conspirators focused victims who they believed had giant quantities of cryptocurrency and “excessive worth” social media account names, authorities mentioned.

The conspirators focused at the very least 10 victims across the nation and “stole (or tried to steal) greater than $530,000 in cryptocurrency from these victims,” the DOJ mentioned.

One of many conspirators additionally took management of two of the victims’ social media accounts.

Sim swapping internet hundreds of thousands

SIM-swapping has turn out to be a profitable felony enterprise over the previous few years, pushed by the rise of flush cryptocurrency accounts that may be value hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

A SIM is a pc chip inside a cell phone that incorporates an ID quantity distinctive to the telephone’s subscriber.

Sometimes, in a SIM swap, a wi-fi service is tricked into switching the SIM  (linked to the subscriber) to the felony’s SIM. The attacker then performs password resets for the consumer’s cell phone account.

THWART TOP PHONE HACKERS WITH ONE SIMPLE STEP

“The cybercriminals can then reset the sufferer’s account log-in credentials and use these credentials to entry the sufferer’s account with out authorization,” the DOJ mentioned.

In a case earlier this 12 months, a number of individuals had been arrested in connection to assaults that stole greater than $100 million, in accordance with the European Union Company for Regulation Enforcement Cooperation or EUROPOL.

These assaults focused 1000’s of victims in 2020, together with web influencers, sport stars, musicians and their households,” EUROPOL mentioned.

And there have been different high-profile {cases} over the past a number of years of criminals netting a number of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

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The FBI explains the ultimate steps in a felony SIM swap as follows:

“Entry accounts: Acquire entry to the sufferer’s accounts and establish digital foreign money keys, wallets, and accounts that could be saved in them. Defeat any SMS-based or cell application-based two-factor authentication on any accounts with management of the sufferer’s telephone quantity.

“Steal foreign money: Switch the digital foreign money out of the sufferer’s account into accounts managed by the attackers.”



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