Law enforcement agencies in the States have managed to crack a cybercriminal ring, named “The Community” that stole over $2.4 million from victims by hijacking their SIM cards.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) last week said that nine suspects had been charged with wire fraud linked to the hacking campaigns group in a federal court in Michigan.
So far, six individuals have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identification theft. Three further associates of the criminal gang, each of whom is a former worker of a mobile phone provider, have also been charged with wire fraud.
Within the gang, eight members are American, while one is Irish, all aged between 19 and 28. Together they are alleged to have executed major SIM hijacking operations in order to steal high quantities of cryptocurrency.
The practice of SIM-swapping and SIM hijacking is increasingly problematic for law authorities in the digital era, as cyber criminals use the tactics for identity theft in order to steal high sums of currency.
Once criminals have obtained the required level of data to get through security checks at a mobile phone provider, they can pretend to be a real account holder, and have the mobile phone switched to a new SIM card.
Once they have the phone number in their possession, fraudsters have a limited amount of time to get around two-factor authentication checks used by platforms such as email accounts, social media and those in banking and storage.
Once into these private domains, criminals can then pull the strings on all manner of private elements on the vic
According to prosecutors, The Community used these tactics to steal cryptocurrency from their victims, to the value of around $2,416,352.
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