The student was accused of stealing more than $ 5 million in cryptocurrencies using “SIM swapping”
On July 12, California police arrested college student Joel Ortiz, accused of organized theft that stole more than $ 5 million in cryptocurrencies, Motherboard writes..
Ortiz was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on his way to Europe. He had a Gucci bag with him, presumably bought with stolen money. 20-year-old young man charged with 28 counts, including 13 cases of burglary, 13 cases of identity theft and 2 cases of large-scale theft.
At the moment, Ortiz is in jail, awaiting on August 9, when the defense will make its statement in court.
Motherboard notes that this is the first recorded case of a real cryptocurrency theft allegation that uses so-called “SIM swapping”. According to the article, this is a hacking method in which the attacker “forces a carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile move the victim’s phone number to their SIM. Having obtained a phone number, a fraudster can use it to reset the victim’s passwords and log into her online accounts (often cryptocurrency accounts). In some cases, this works even if the accounts are protected by two-factor authentication. “.
The victims of Ortiz and his as-yet-to-be found associates include attendees to the Consensus conference in New York in May. One of the visitors, who wished to remain anonymous, lost more than $ 1.5 million, about $ 1 million of which was raised through ICO.
“I looked at my phone and realized that it had a cover,” he said to Motherboard, also recounting a similar story that happened at the same conference with his friend. – We were at a meeting, and he suddenly said: "Fuck my phone stopped working"”. Later, a friend wrote to him: “My *** SIM card was hacked.”.
Motherboard writes that “according to court documents, Ortiz took control of the entrepreneur’s mobile phone, reset his Gmail password, and gained access to his cryptocurrency accounts. Businessman ran to AT store&T to get your number back, but it was too late. “.