SIM Hijackers Steal Over $5 Million in Bitcoin in First Reported Crime of its Kind


Forget cryptojacking, SIM hijacking now seems set to become even more lucrative for criminals looking to cash in with bitcoin from the burgeoning space. A 20-year old college student from Boston, Massachusetts was arrested in California earlier this month on charges of being part of a gang that hacked cellphone numbers before stealing over US$5 million in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to Motherboard, the number of cell phone numbers that the Bostonian named Joel Ortiz and his accomplices hacked using a technique referred to as SIM swapping or hijacking was about 40. With SIM hijacking, mobile operators are tricked into transferring the phone number of a target to a SIM card that’s under the control of the criminal. Upon obtaining the number the criminals can then reset passwords before accessing online accounts of their victim.

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