Multiple Crypto Influencers Struck By SIM Swap Attacks – Here Are The Details
Crypto influencers are becoming increasingly popular targets for SIM swap attacks, as they have very high-value accounts with a multitude of sensitive information.
SIM swapping, also known as SIM hijacking, is a type of fraudulent attack in which a hacker or criminal obtains access to a victim’s mobile phone number by fraudulently transferring it to a device they control. With access to the phone number, the hacker can then intercept text messages directed to the victim’s phone, hijack their online accounts and in some cases even gain access to their cryptocurrency wallets.
Some of the most prominent crypto influencers to experience SIM swap attacks in recent times include the likes of Roger Ver, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.
Ver reported over $200,000 stolen from his personal accounts after a SIM swap attack in 2019. Buterin narrowly avoided a similar attack in 2018, as he foiled the hackers when they asked for a photo verification of him to gain control of the phone number. Antonopoulos reported that an unidentified individual attempted to hack his accounts in 2020.
Lee was another victim in 2020 when an unknown individual successfully gained access to his phone number and managed to reset his Gmail and Coinbase accounts. It is worth noting that Lee managed to secure his remaining funds, as he had previously withdrawn his cryptocurrency holdings from wallets accessible via two-factor authentication.
Fortunately, there is a lot that crypto users can do to protect themselves from SIM swapping attacks. They should ensure that their accounts are accessed via a two-factor authentication system, never allow handing over control of their phone number to a third party, and have a solid understanding of the common tactics employed by the perpetrators of such attacks. Finally, it would be wise to reach out to mobile providers directly and ask them to report any suspicious activity.