Massachusetts’ Department of Justice has announced the arrest of two individuals in the “SIM swapping” crypto theft case. Eric Meiggs, 21 and Declan Harrington, 20.
According the the indictment filed by the bureau, both accused thieves are Massachusetts residents. They allegedly stole over $500,000 worth of cryptocurrency coins from the victims by hacking their email and social media accounts. The practice is known as “SIM swapping”.
What is SIM Swapping & how it works?
For mobile phone SIM swapping to succeed, the culprit has to convince the mobile provider to transfer the targeted victim’s virtual SIM card to another mobile phone, which belongs to the hacker.
Since the SIM cards is not a physical card, but virtual one it’s easier than most people think. Once the hacker takes control of the victim’s email, social media accounts, they can easily find personal information the mobile carrier is going to ask to verify that person calling is the rightful owner of the mobile phone.
Who are the victims of the cryptocurrency SIM Swapping crime?
Meiggs and Harrington alleged primary targets were company executives from cryptocurrency or blockchain companies. They also targeted crypto holders with significant amounts of coins. 10 people from different parts of the United States are victims of the scheme, according to DoJ.
What are the charges?
Both Meiggs and Harrington are charged with 11 counts of conspiracy, 8 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of computer fraud/abuse, and 1 aggravated identity theft.
The alleged thieves will face other criminal charges soon after it was discovered they messaged the victims with threats to inflict physical harm. One of the victims received a message stating the hacker knows his mother’s addresses and will kill his wife if he talks to authorities.
Parts of the investigation is been conducted by the IRS and the FBI. The FBI for the criminality of the case and the IRS for postal and tax fraud parts. Both Meiggs and Harrington are been held without bonds in a max security facility in Massachusetts.
Mathieu is a Information technology professional with over 15 years of experience. He started one of the first bitcoin blogs existed in 2010. He started writing about, investing in bitcoin and promoting the first cryptocurrency when only a few technological savvy people knew about it. Mathieu is a world traveler who enjoys culture, technology, finance, salmon, rice and beans. He’s cool, collected and knows a great deal about blockchain technology.