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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: SIM Swapping

Europol Arrests 26 SIM Swapping Fraudsters For Stealing Over $3 Million

Europol Arrests 26 SIM Swapping Fraudsters For Stealing Over $3 Million

March 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Europol, along with the Spanish and the Romanian national police, has arrested 26 individuals in connection with the theft of over €3.5 million ($3.9 million) by hijacking people's phone numbers via SIM swapping attacks. The law enforcement agencies arrested 12 and 14 people in Spain and Romania, respectively, as part of a joint operation against two different groups of SIM swappers, Europol said . The development comes as SIM swapping attacks are emerging as one of the biggest threats to telecom operators and mobile users alike. The increasingly popular and damaging hack is a clever social engineering trick used by cybercriminals to persuade phone carriers into transferring their victims' cell services to a SIM card under their control. The SIM swap then grants attackers access to incoming phone calls, text messages, and one-time verification codes (or one-time passwords ) that various websites send via SMS messages as part of the two-factor authentication (2FA) proc
Two Arrested for Stealing $550,000 in Cryptocurrency Using Sim Swapping

Two Arrested for Stealing $550,000 in Cryptocurrency Using Sim Swapping

November 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
It appears that at least the United States has started taking the threat of Sim Swapping attacks very seriously. Starting with the country's first-ever conviction for 'SIM Swapping' this February, U.S. Department of Justice has since then announced charges against several individuals for involving in the scheme to siphon millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from victims. In the latest incident, the U.S. authorities on Thursday arrested two more alleged cybercriminals from Massachusetts, charging them with stealing $550,000 in cryptocurrency from at least 10 victims using SIM swapping between November 2015 and May 2018. SIM Swapping, or SIM hijacking, is a technique that typically involves the social engineering of a target's mobile phone provider. An attacker makes a phony call posing as their targets and convinces the mobile phone provider to port the target's phone number to a SIM card belonging to the attacker. Once successful, the attacker can t
Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked

Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked

September 05, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Twitter today finally decided to temporarily disable a feature, called ' Tweeting via SMS ,' after it was abused by a hacking group to compromise Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week and sent a series of racist and offensive tweets to Dorsey's followers. Dorsey's Twitter account was compromised last week when a hacker group calling itself "Chuckling Squad" replicated a mobile phone number associated with the CEO account and abused this particular feature to post racist, offensive messages and bomb threats from it via SMS. Replicating a mobile phone number associated with someone else is a technique known as " SIM swapping ," where attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider and trick the telecom company to transfer target's phone number to their own SIM card. Once they social engineered an AT&T employee and gained access to Dorsey's phone number, the Chuckling Squad hackers used the 'Tweeting via SMS' feat
U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

May 10, 2019Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced charges against nine individuals, 6 of which are members of a hacking group called "The Community" and other 3 are former employees of mobile phone providers who allegedly helped them steal roughly $2.5 million worth of the cryptocurrency using a method known as "SIM Swapping." According to the 15-count indictment unsealed today, five Americans and an Irishman related to The Community hacking group are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as well as wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Another three Americans, who reportedly are the former employees of mobile phone providers, are charged in a criminal complaint with the wire fraud. SIM Swapping , or SIM Hijacking , is a type of identity theft that typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker. In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider by convincing it
First Hacker Convicted of 'SIM Swapping' Attack Gets 10 Years in Prison

First Hacker Convicted of 'SIM Swapping' Attack Gets 10 Years in Prison

February 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A 20-year-old college student who stole cryptocurrency worth more than $5 million by hijacking victims' phone numbers has pleaded guilty and accepted a sentence of 10 years in prison. Ortiz was arrested last year on charges of siphoning millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from around 40 victims using a method commonly known as " SIM swapping ," which typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker. In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider by making a phony call posing as their target and claiming that their SIM card has been lost and that they would like to request a SIM swap. The attackers attempt to convince the target's telecommunications company that they are the actual owner of the phone number they want to swap by providing required personal information on the target, like their SSNs and addresses, eventually tricking the telecoms to port the target's pho
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