Europol, the European police company, stated it had assisted within the arrest of 10 hackers suspected of stealing US$100 million (A$130 million) in cryptocurrency in “SIM-swapping” assaults that allowed suspects to achieve entry to their victims’ telephones.
“The assaults orchestrated by this felony gang focused hundreds of victims all through 2020, together with well-known web influencers, sport stars, musicians and their households,” the company stated in an announcement.
The arrests had been made after an investigation with cooperation from Britain, the USA, Belgium, Malta and Canada, Europol stated.
In a SIM-swapping assault, criminals can acquire management over a SIM – the small laptop chip that carries a telephone quantity used to determine a buyer on a telecommunication community.
Normally a telephone firm is tricked into deactivating a working SIM and transferring its features to 1 managed by the hackers.
“This enabled (hackers) to steal cash, cryptocurrencies and private info, together with contacts synced with on-line accounts,” Europol stated in a press assertion detailing the operation.
“In addition they hijacked social media accounts to publish content material and ship messages masquerading because the sufferer.”
Europol didn’t determine 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 up to now was Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in 2019.