The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has arrested and charged members of a major cybercriminal ring in connection with $2.4 million worth of wire fraud and identity theft.
The hacking group, called “The Community” primarily used social engineering (trickery) and SIM card hijacking to steal funds and cryptocurrency from their victims.
SIM swapping or hijacking is an attack that often deploys personal information gleaned from other sources (such as social engineering) to authenticate a fraudster to a mobile phone company. Once authenticated, the mobile phone number of the target victim is moved to the criminal’s phone. Possession of the target’s phone number allows the criminal to access calls and texts intended for the target, therefore making it possible to bypass his or her 2-Factor authentication and thus gain access to the victim’s financial accounts.
Members of The Community face charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Three former mobile provider employees are also charged with accepting bribes to facilitate SIM-card hijacks for the group.
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