Ten people belonging to a criminal network have been arrested in connection with a series of SIM-swapping attacks that resulted in the theft of more than $100 million by hijacking the mobile phone accounts of high-profile individuals in the U.S.
The Europol-coordinated year-long investigation was jointly conducted by law enforcement authorities from the U.K., U.S., Belgium, Malta, and Canada.
“The attacks orchestrated by this criminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020, including famous internet influencers, sport stars, musicians and their families,” Europol said in a statement. “The criminals are believed to have stolen from them over $100 million in cryptocurrencies after illegally gaining access to their phones.”
The eight suspects, aged 18 to 26, are said to be part of a larger ring, two members of which were nabbed previously in Malta and Belgium. The latest arrests were made in England and Scotland.
The sweep comes almost a year after Europol led an operation to dismantle two SIM swap criminal groups that stole €3.5 million ($3.9 million) by orchestrating a wave of more than 100 attacks targeting victims in Austria, emptying their bank accounts through their phone numbers.
images from Hacker News