Crypto Expert Engineer at BitGo Loses $100,000 After Being SIM-Hijacked in Latest Swapping Hack
The number of cryptocurrency hacks and attacks continues to grow as time passes. Hackers become more and more sophisticated and users more vulnerable. This time, SIM hijackers were able to steal $100,000 from Sean Coonce, a recognized crypto engineer. Here is what happened.
Cryptocurrency Engineer Losses $100,000
Coonce is the engineering manager at the cryptocurrency custodian BitGo. He has revealed on Twitter how hackers stole $100,000 from his Coinbase account using a sophisticated method to hijack his SIM card.
Conce explained that he attacker ported his SIM card to a device that they were able to control last week. The engineer just realized about it when he lost his cellular network when he was using his smartphone.
My personal identity was hacked last week. The attacker was able to steal $100k+ in a sweep of my Coinbase account. I'm equal parts embarrassed, hurt, and deeply remorseful.
In an effort to raise awareness about the attack, I wrote about it here: https://t.co/ZnbB0AN6Gd
— Sean Coonce (@cooncesean) May 20, 2019
The attacker initiated a password recovery process for Coonce’s Coinbase account. The password reset link could only be sent just after 24 hours, but the attackers deleted the email and the evidence just disappeared.
Coonce explained that he believed that he had problems with his SIM card but it ultimately showed that something serious was going on. He received messages that said that he was trying to log into his Google account. However, Coonce decided to solve this issue the next day.
The attacker was already ready to extract funds from the Coinbase account since the password was already changed. Not only the hacker withdrew all the funds the engineer had, but he also purchased more virtual currencies with the fiat Coonce had and withdraw all the funds from the exchange.
There is a larger number of SIM-swapping incidents that are taking place in the cryptocurrency market. There are some individuals that experienced similar attacks and that decided to sue SIM card providers for the loss of their digital currencies.
The best way for individuals and investors to store their digital currencies is through a cold storage wallet such as hardware or paper wallets.