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Den europeiska polisiära samarbetsorganisationen Europol, har slagit till mot ett nätverk med hackare som genom att kapa SIM-kort misstänks ha kommit över värden för närmare 100 miljoner dollar.

Hackarna har haft kända personer, artister, affärsmän och andra som köpt och handlat med cryptovalutor. Genom att kapa offrens SIM-kort så har de kunnat komma över närmare 100 miljoner dollar, skriver Europol i ett pressmeddelande.

A total of 8 criminals have been arrested on 9 February as a result of an international investigation into a series of sim swapping attacks targeting high-profile victims in the United States. These arrests follow earlier ones in Malta (1) and Belgium (1) of other members belonging to the same criminal network.

The attacks orchestrated by this criminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020, including famous internet influencers, sport stars, musicians and their families. The criminals are believed to have stolen from them over USD 100 million in cryptocurrencies after illegally gaining access to their phones.

This international sweep follows a year-long investigation jointly conducted by law enforcement authorities from the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Malta and Canada, with international activity coordinated by Europol.

Europol

Plånböcker

Genom att kapa offrens SIM-kort kunde hackarna sedan komma över lösenord och inloggningsuppgifter för de speciella digitala plånböcker som används för cryptovalutor.

This type of fraud is known as ‘sim swapping’ and it was identified as a key trend on the rise in the latest Europol Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment. It involves cybercriminals taking over use of a victim’s phone number by essentially deactivating their SIM and porting the allocated number over to a SIM belonging to a member of the criminal network.

This is typically achieved by the criminals exploiting phone service providers to do the swap on their behalf, either via a corrupt insider or using social engineering techniques.

Europol

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