SIM swapping method is increasingly becoming popular among hackers. Recently, a group of six individuals known by the name “The Community” was punished for stealing cryptocurrencies worth $2.4 million through SIM swap. The report surfaced on 13th May.
US authorities are prosecuting Conor Freeman, an Irish man along with his five-group members. Most of them are aged between 19 to 20. The charges brought against them are identity theft and wire fraud. The crime commonly called a SIM swap. Three additional mobile operators were also prosecuted along with them for helping them out in their hacking process.
As per the report, US attorney Matthew Schneider from Eastern Michigan district announced about the prosecution. Among all the six group members, five are Americans, and one is Irish. The US has requested his extradition. As per a report, various luxury goods and a computer were found from the Irish man’s house.
The crypto hacking group worked by the name “the community” has broken several crypto accounts and have robbed them. It is reported that they have successfully carried out seven SIM swapping cases and have acquired cryptocurrencies worth $2,416,352. For these, each of them will be getting detention for 20 years.
The alleged criminals used to focus on the people who have cryptocurrency accounts and have taken their mobile number under control. The mobile number has its importance as it is often linked to bank accounts and various other vital accounts. Similarly, digital currency exchange needs users’ mobile number to protect their account with two-factor verification keys.
The suspects impersonated as the owner of the mobile number and in some cases bribed the mobile operator to bypass the security system of different crypto exchanges. Matthew Schneider has told in a statement that the mobile phones are not only a means of communication but also acts as an identity proof in the present day, and this incident should act as a notice to defend our private and monetary information.
To protect mobile phone number from SIM swapping, one should talk to the telecom provider and request them to provide the PIN to make an important change to the account. But this may not help if hackers’ bribes the mobile operators, in such cases, unlinking the mobile phone number from the outstanding accounts will be useful.
In a similar kind of incident, a Boston student was punished for 10 years imprisonment for SIM swapping to steal cryptocurrencies worth 7.5 million.