Two Massachusetts individuals have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a scheme to take over high-profile social media accounts and steal cryptocurrency.
The two, Eric Meiggs, 24, of Brockton, and Declan Harrington, 22, of Beverly, employed SIM swapping, computer hacking, and other techniques as part of their nefarious activities, the US Department of Justice says.
According to documents presented in court, the two targeted executives of cryptocurrency companies and individuals who had large amounts of cryptocurrency or who owned high-value OG (Original Gangster) social media accounts.
Meiggs and Harrington conspired to take over OG accounts and steal their victim’s cryptocurrency and other assets of value.
One of the techniques they employed was SIM swapping, which consists of the attacker convincing the victim’s mobile phone carrier to transfer the victim’s number to a SIM card controlled by the attacker.
This allows the cybercriminals to pose as the victim with social media account providers and initialize password reset procedures that involve sending reset links or authorization codes to the victim’s phone number, which is now under the attacker’s control.
Next, the cybercriminals reset the account’s login credentials and can then access the account.
The two defendants targeted at least 10 victims in the US and allegedly stole roughly $330,000 in cryptocurrency from them. Meiggs allegedly took over two social media OG accounts.
Meiggs and Harrington were sentenced to two years and one day in prison and two years and seven days in prison, respectively. They pleaded guilty last year.