Joel Ortiz, a college student, was recently arrested after a cyberattack into investor’s cryptocurrency accounts, and getting away with millions using a new phone hacking system.
While Bitcoin and other altcoins which are based on blockchain technology, hackers have been inventive with different ways to commit digital heist. Techniques such as ‘cryptojacking’ have been used to plunder various cryptocurrencies, Monero (XRM) has been notably hacked.
College Student Joel Ortiz, is the latest hacker to hit investors financial assets, stealing around $5 million from around 40 victims phones. This was done using a new method called ‘SIM hacking’. Ortiz is not the only one implicated in the heist, however the other culprits names have yet to be released.
The hackers were able to access the targets phones by ‘SIM swapping’, essentially deceiving a mobile network service in order to obtain the marks mobile number and duplicating it on a SIM card. With the SIM card, the hackers have full access to the targets cryptocurrency and various other accounts and the ability to reset user passwords.
The culprits were able to steal the funds at the Consensus conference which was held in May of this year. Ortiz however, was caught in Los Angeles before attempting to flee to Europe. Ortiz’s various cell phones used in the attacks were tracked down by investigators with the help of AT&T. Ortiz is facing 28 different charges, with thirteen being counts of identity theft, another thirteen of hacking, and two of grand theft.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), released a public warning:
“Criminals may pose as a security, customer, or technical support representative offering to resolve such issues as a compromised e-mail or bank account, a virus on a computer, or to assist with a software license renewal. Some recent complaints involve criminals posing as technical support representatives for GPS, printer, or cable companies, or support for virtual currency exchangers.
As this type of fraud has become more commonplace, criminals have started to pose as government agents, even offering to recover supposed losses related to tech support fraud schemes or to request financial assistance with “apprehending” criminals.”