A 21-year-old man, Nicholas Truglia, charged for hacking into the phones of Silicon Valley executive phones to steal their cryptocurrency.
Truglia stole $1 million from San Francisco father of two Robert Ross in the SIM-swapping scheme, according to officials and court records.
SIM-swapping or SIM Hijacking is the technique used by criminals to register an already existing number on a new SIM card, by having control over the phone number attackers can bypass 2FA authentication and reset the passwords to gain access to the victim’s accounts.
In this attack, Truglia ported Ross phone number into his phone and managed to steal $500,000 from Coinbase account and another from $500,000 in a Gemini account within seconds.
“It’s a new way of doing an old crime,” said deputy DA Erin West of Santa Clara Superior Court, reads New York Post.
“You’re sitting in your home, your phone is in front of you, and you suddenly become aware there is no service because the bad guy has taken control of your phone number,” West said.
With his arrest on November 14, authorities able to retrieve $300,000 in stolen funds, remaining funds remain untraced.
Trugila being held at pending for extradition to Santa Clara, where he faces 21 felony counts related to a total of six victims, officials said.
The SIM Swapping attacks are in the rise, starting this November a SIM-Swapping Hacker Group Who Managed to Steal $80,000 Worth of Cryptocurrency Got Arrested by Turkish police.