Europol Arrests 2 Dozen Suspects of SIM-Swap Fraud Following Cross-Border Investigations – Disposable mail news

Following an increase in SIM-jacking over the recent months, Europol announces the arrest of at least more than two dozen suspects of bank accounts by hijacking the phone numbers of some unfortunate users through SIM-swap fraud following months of cross-border investigations. 

Police across Europe have been preparing to disassemble criminal networks that are said to have been responsible for these attacks for a long time now.

SIM swaps work since phone numbers are in connection to the phone’s SIM card and ‘SIM’ short for subscriber identity module, a special system-on-a-chip card that safely stores the cryptographic secret that distinguishes the user’s phone number to the network. 

Most mobile phone shops out there can issue and activate substitution or replacement SIM cards quickly, causing the old SIM to go dead and the new SIM card to assume control via the phone number just as the telephonic identity. 

It had so happened in October in the United States that the FBI cautioned that ‘bad guys’ were getting around certain kinds of two-factor authentication (2FA).

The easiest, smoothest and thusly the most widely recognized approach to sneak past 2FA is SIM-swap fraud, where an attacker persuades a mobile system to port a target’s mobile number or plants malware on a victim’s phone, along these lines permitting them to intercept 2FA security codes sent by means of SMS text. 

However whether the hackers are breaking into ‘regular old bank accounts’ or Bitcoin accounts, the crime is clearly incredibly expensive for the victims who observe helplessly as their accounts drain.

Here are some safety measures recommended for the users to consider and forestall such mishappenings-

  1. Watch out for phishing emails or fake websites that crooks use to acquire your usernames and passwords in the first place. 
  2. Avoid obvious answers to account security questions. 
  3. Use an
    on-access (real-time) anti-virus and keep it up-to-date
  4. Be
    suspicious if your phone drops back to “emergency calls only” unexpectedly.
  5. Consider
    switching from SMS-based 2FA codes to codes generated by an authenticator app.


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Understand how SIM Swapping can easily be used to hack your accounts! – Disposable mail news

We’ve all heard about sim swapping, SIM splitting, simjacking or sim hijacking- the recent trend with cybercriminals and now a study by Princeton University prooves the vulnerability of wireless carriers and how these SIM swapping has helped hackers ease their hands into frauds and crimes.

SIM swapping gained quite an attention when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked on his own platform. A study by Princeton University has revealed that five major US wireless carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Tracfone, and US Mobile – are susceptible to SIM swap scams. And this sim hijacking is on a rise in developing countries like Africa and Latin America.

What is SIM swapping? 

SIM swapping is when your account is taken over by someone else by fraud through phone-based authentication usually two-factor authentication or two-step verification. This could give the hacker access to your email, bank accounts, online wallets and more.

How does the swap occur? 

In a SIM swap, scammers exploit the second step in two-factor verification, where either a text message or a call is given to your number for verification.

Citywire further explains the process, “Usually, a basic SIM-card swapping work when scammers call a mobile carrier, impersonating the actual owner and claiming to have lost or damaged their SIM card. They then try to convince the customer service representative to activate a new SIM card in the fraudster’s possession. This enables the fraudsters to port the victim’s telephone number to the fraudster’s device containing a different SIM.”

After accessing the account, the scammers can control your email, bank accounts, online wallets and more.

 Detecting SIM swapping attack

• The first sign is if your text messages and cell phones aren’t functioning, it’s probable that your account is hijacked.

• If the login credentials set by you stop working then it’s probably a sign that your account has been taken over. Contact your telecom provider and bank immediately.

• If you get a message from your telecom provider that your SIM card has been activated on another device, be warned it’s a red sign.


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Canadian Teenager Charged and Arrested for $50 Million Cryptocurrency Theft – Disposable mail news

Samy Bensaci, an 18-year-old teenager from Montreal, Canada has been indicted for 4 criminal charges in relation to a theft of cryptocurrency worth $50 million in a SIM-swapping scam that targeted cryptocurrency holders, as per the reportings by Infosecurity Magazine, dated 17th of January.

The Canadian authorities have accused the teen hacker of being a part of a hacking group that was involved in the theft of millions of dollars from Canadians and Americans. The scam, of which Bensaci was allegedly a part of, stole, “$50 million from our neighbors to the south and $300,000 in Canada” told Lieutenant Hugo Fournier, a spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec.

Bensaci was charged and consequently arrested in November and was later released on CA $200,000 bail, on orders of living with his parents in Northeast Montreal, as per the local media reports. As a result of the incident, prosecutors prohibited Bensaci’s access to any device that can be connected to the internet including computers, mobile phones, tablets, games, and consoles. Specifically from accessing, “any computer, tablet, mobile phone, game console, including PS3, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or any other device capable of accessing the Internet”. He has also been ordered to hand over his passport to local police to assure he does not flee away from the country.

One of the purported victims Don Tapscott confirmed, “We can confirm that last year a hacker attempted to steal crypto assets from our company and its employees. That attempt was unsuccessful. We cooperated with the police [and] have been impressed with their determination to bring those responsible to justice.”

SIM swapping attack, also known as SIM jacking or SIM splitting is a form of identity theft where an attacker targets a weakness in two-factor authentication to take over an account. The attacker exploits a cell phone carrier’s ability to port a phone number to a new device with a new SIM to acquire access to the victim’s credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other financial information. The feature is normally used when someone loses access to his phone (or gets it stolen) or is switching service to a new device. As the reliability of customers on mobile-based authentication is growing, SIM swap attacks have also been on a rise in recent times.


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