FBI arrested two people in Massachusetts for allegedly stealing $550,000 in cryptocurrencies by SIM swapping. The accused are charged with counts of Conspiracy, Wire fraud, Computer Fraud, Abuse, and Identity theft. This particular attack allows the infiltrator to access different accounts on the phone, including crypto exchanges and social media accounts.
Target victims were executives of crypto companies.
According to the press release, Meiggs and Harrington allegedly targeted executives of cryptocurrency companies and others who likely had significant amounts of cryptocurrency. Both the accusers targeted at least ten identified victims around the country. The FBI and IRS-CI are currently investigating the case.
Information regarding the victims of the attacks was not revealed other than one of the victims ran a blockchain-based business, and another was the owner of a bitcoin teller machine.
Increase in the SIM swapping attacks
This was not the first time when cybercriminals used this technique to hack into someone’s phone and steal cryptocurrencies. SIM swap attack gives cybercriminals control to the victim’s phone number and with that he can access multiple accounts, including social media and crypto exchange accounts.
Earlier, Seth Shapiro of VideoCoin, Neeraj Agrawal of Coin Center, and Ryan Selkis of Messari have all reported Sim swapping. Bittrex is currently facing a lawsuit by Gregg Bennet of Seattle, who alleged that the exchange did not act accordingly to protect him from the SIM swap attack.