Scammers Continue to Hack Millions Worth in Crypto, Recent Victim Shares All

As we all may know, cryptocurrency scams have made headlines ever since Bitcoin’s price exploded. With most hacks and scams happening in 2018, one might think it has become a norm. But what many have failed to realize is the fact that over billions can be gone, and once gone they are less likely to return.

A recent post shared by The New York Post expounded on the issue by giving the most recent hack in the crypto space. As per the claims made, it was none other than 62-year old, Terpin, also deemed a “crypto pioneer”, who happens to have lost nearly $23.8 millions of crypto to a group of twenty-year-olds.

Terpin was supposedly fearful the moment he found out that his Google account password had been changed, which he did not personally do. He also had a second mobile and, upon checking it, found out that his Blackberry account had been compromised. While he did what he could to cancel his accounts and verify nearly 50 accounts of crypto he held – he was too late to prevent the loss of $23.8 million. How was this possible? Through something called SIM swapping.

How SIM Swapping Works

According to Terpin, the hackers involved were able to steal his identity from his SIM card (which belonged to the aforementioned Blackberry) and stored the data onto a blank SIM card. According to Terpin’s claims, the hackers managed to get support from an AT&T employee who helped to, “port over [Terpin’s] wireless number to an imposter with a new SIM card.”

After having successfully “SIM Swapped”, the group of hackers changed the passwords to his e-mail accounts and with enough time invested in searching through everything and information related to crypto accounts such as private keys were found and used to steal the funds.

SIM Swapping has been widely used to steal information. It happens to be a popular method in hacking Twitter and Instagram accounts, and evidently, it has proved itself effective in hacking crypto accounts.

The Lawsuit

Terpin obviously took the case to court and filed a lawsuit against one of the members involved in the hack, Nicholas Truglia. The 21-year-old was a Baruch College student and has been known for living a lavish lifestyle, as per “a visitor named Chris David,” reports the New York Post. David happens to know of Truglia’s activities because the latter has proudly shared his endeavors in stealing cryptos.

The Root Of The Problem

According to the New York Post’s reporting, the root of the problem stems from video games, where gamers get together to form private chats. Deputy Director Attorney from Santa Clara County, California, Erin West was quoted saying the following:

“Gamers figured out that they could hack into people’s accounts to get these handles and sell them for big bucks on a Website.”

A case involving gamers sparked back in 2016. An investigator working closely on said cases shared that gamers must have come across crypto accounts and with big winnings there, they must have continued. Again, said individuals are normally young adults who expose their rich lifestyles to the public.

How Are Hackers Getting Caught? A Cell Tower And IMEI Is All It Takes!

Turns out hackers eventually get the taste of their own medicine. In particular, a mobile’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number can be used to trace back to said hackers (which was successful in the 2016 case). Every mobile carries an IMEI number, and every time a business keeps in touch with an individual via mobile, the IMEI number is recorded, shared Sergeant Samy Tarazi. And as quoted by the New York Post,

“the IMEI used in the crime [was] cross-referenced with Apple and Google.”

Terpin’s Current Stance

As for Terpin, he is planning to sue both Truglia and AT&T, the former for the loss of a big sum and AT&T, for having allowed such sharing of data to occur – all in all totaling $224 million. While the former has yet to comment, the latter has recently shared the following:

“Mr. Terpin is wrong, and we have asked the court to dismiss his complaint.”

Clearly, more emphasis needs to be placed in better protecting virtual currencies and one’s personal data altogether as hackers are finding any possible way to reap in. What were your initial thoughts on this case? In your opinion, has this problem gotten too far? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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