Teenager Charged with Cryptocurrency Theft

A teenager from Montreal has been indicted for four criminal charges in connection with a $50 million SIM-swapping maneuver targeted at crypto owners, as reported by security-oriented media house Infosecurity Magazine on the 17th of January.

The 18-year-old scammer, Samy Bensaci, was indicted by the Canadian government for being a member of an infamous group responsible for stealing cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars from both American and Canadian owners.

The heist was said to have been perpetuated in mid-2018 and Québec police have confirmed that the hackers made away with $50 million from the United States and $300k from Canada.

Some of the victims include Don and Alex Tapscott, prominent cryptocurrency investors and co-authors of award-winning book “Blockchain Revolution.”

Don has corroborated to being targeted by the criminal group but fervently denied that he was stolen from.

Bensaci was apprehended somewhere in British Columbia in November last year. However, he was granted bail the following month to the tune of $153k and was restricted from laying his hands on any internet-accessible device, and also to desist from buying or transacting any form of cryptocurrency.

The security-oriented media house also noted that one thing all of the group’s targets have in common is that they all were in attendance at the Consensus conference in New York. Rob Ross, the manager of StopSIMCrime.org and a previous sufferer of SIM-swapping mentioned that the hackers picked their targets during these conferences.

How the Fraudulent Act is Facilitated
SIM-swapping is a fraudulent practice where hackers contact and deceive telecom providers into sending the potential victims’ phone numbers to a designated SIM card owned by the hacker. This practice is very possible and is perpetuated quite often, however, telecom firms are infested with moles who use their admittance to carry out the fraudulent practice. Through SIM-swapping, hackers can circumvent almost all the protective mechanisms that are reliant on phone numbers.

As mentioned earlier, this criminal activity happens frequently and several telecom service providers have been queried for not delivering adequate security measures against the practice.

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