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Cryptocurrencies

SIM swapping attacks hit US crypto users

Thursday 6 June 2019 | 08:52 AM CET

The US-based cryptocurrency community has been hit by SIM swapping attacks over the past week, ZDNet has learned.

SIM swapping is a type of ATO (account takeover) attack during which a malicious threat actor uses various techniques (usually social engineering) to transfers a victim’s phone number to their own SIM card. Via this form of attack, hackers can reset passwords or receive 2FA verification codes and access protected accounts.

These types of attacks are not new, however in 2017 and 2018 attackers started focusing on attacking members of the cryptocurrency community, so they could gain access to online accounts used for managing large sums of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

Some of them have publicly admitted to losing over USD 100,000 worth of cryptocurrency due to a SIM swapping attack. While some of the users who reported SIM swapping attacks on Twitter said they were T-Mobile customers, the issue is not limited to T-Mobile alone. In conversations that ZDNet had with other victims, some revealed they were also AT&T customers.

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