Nine suspects steal $2.4M of crypto through SIM Hijacking
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan is charging nine for participating or aiding in stealing cryptocurrency worth $2.4 million in another SIM Hijacking fraud.
According to the filing, six of the nine individuals have been charged in with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Three others on the charge sheet have been indicted for wire fraud concerning the conspiracy.
Reportedly, the six belong to a hacking group known as “The Community” while the other three, Robert Jack, Jarratt White, and Fendley Joseph, were employees of unnamed cell phone service providers.
According to authorities, the group organized seven attacks that garnered to about $345,000 per attack. During the attacks, these hackers used the three employees to gain access to data on the service provider network. This allowed them to remotely activate their victim’s mobile phones number on a SIM card that is in their possession. Once they gained control, the hackers would then use the victim’s number to access their email, cloud storage, and crypto exchange accounts and eventually transfer crypto funds to other wallet accounts.
United States Attorney Matthew Schneider said:
“Mobile phones today are not only a means of communication but also a means of identification. This case should serve as a reminder to all of us to protect our personal and financial information from those who seek to steal it.”
The first arrest was made in May 2018 and helped authorities in recovering all players in the attacks. Five of the members of The Community are U.S. citizens. They are Ricky Handschumacher, Reyad Gafar Abbas, Colton Jurisic, Garrett Endicott and Ryan Stevenson. Another member, Conor Freeman, is Irish. The U.S. is seeking the extradition of Freeman.
Ryan Stevenson who is known as “Phobia” in online communities, had allegedly been selling doxing services (searching for and publishing identifying information online) for just about any carrier in the U.S.
If convicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, these individuals will face a penalty of 20 years in prison each and an addition of 20 years for wire fraud charges.
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