AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Europol, the European police company, stated on Wednesday it had assisted within the arrest of 10 hackers suspected of stealing $100 million in cryptocurrency in “SIM-swapping” assaults that allowed suspects to achieve entry to their victims’ telephones.
“The assaults orchestrated by this prison gang focused hundreds of victims all through 2020, together with well-known web influencers, sport stars, musicians and their households,” the company stated in a press release.
The arrests have been made after an investigation with cooperation from Britain, the US, Belgium, Malta and Canada, Europol stated.
In a SIM-swapping assault, criminals can achieve management over a SIM – the small laptop chip that carries a cellphone quantity used to establish a buyer on a telecommunication community. Normally a cellphone firm is tricked into deactivating a working SIM and transferring its capabilities to at least one managed by the hackers.
“This enabled (hackers) to steal cash, cryptocurrencies and private data, together with contacts synced with on-line accounts,” Europol stated in a press assertion detailing the operation.
“Additionally they hijacked social media accounts to put up content material and ship messages masquerading because the sufferer.”
Europol didn’t establish the victims or say the place the arrests befell. It suggested the general public to not use companies that use textual content messages to assist log in to on-line accounts, as these are susceptible in SIM-swapping assaults, which it stated are on the rise.
One of the vital notable victims of a SIM-swapping assault prior to now was Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in 2019.
Reporting by Toby Sterling; enhancing by John Stonestreet