Two Massachusetts men were arrested and charged this week for employing SIM swapping in attacks aimed at stealing cryptocurrency from their victims’ accounts.
The two, Eric Meiggs, 21, of Brockton, and Declan Harrington, 20, of Rockport, were charged in an 11-count indictment, the United States Department of Justice announced.
The men are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, and aggravated identity theft.
Meiggs and Harrington allegedly targeted executives of cryptocurrency companies and individuals believed to have significant amounts of cryptocurrency, as well as people with high-value social media account names.
As part of their scheme, the two conspired to take over the victims’ accounts to obtain things of value, such as virtual coins, the indictment claims.
For their illegal activities, the two employed SIM swapping and other techniques that allowed them to take control of accounts and steal cryptocurrency.
SIM swapping is a technique where miscreants convince a mobile carrier to reassign the victim’s phone number from the legitimate SIM card to a SIM card controlled by the attackers.
Cybercriminals can then request password reset links or authentication codes, which are sent to the SIM-swapped device. Using this technique, miscreants can change the login credentials and take control of the victim’s account.
The indictment alleges that Meiggs and Harrington targeted at least 10 victims in the United States, stealing or attempting to steal over $550,000 in cryptocurrency from them.
Meiggs is also said to have taken control of at least two high value (or “OG” – slang for “Original Gangster”) social media accounts.
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