A 20-year-old college student Joel Ortiz from Boston arrested by police on July 12 for being a part of the hacker group who hacked a number of cellphone numbers using SIM swapping technique and stolen more than $5 million in cryptocurrencies.

The hacker group targets users associated with cryptocurrency and blockchains, by tricking the telecommunication providers they swap the target Phone number to the SIM controlled by the attackers. By having the control over the phone number the hacker group reset the login credentials and get access to the victim’s account.

SIM swapping or SIM Hijacking is the technique used by criminals to register an already existing number on a new SIM card, so they can intercept the OTPs and can reset the login credentials.

According to Motherboard report, Ortiz was arrested in Los Angeles International Airport on his way to Europe and he is to face charges on 28 sections “13 counts of identity theft, 13 counts of hacking, and two counts of grand theft.”


Between February and March Ortiz targeted a blockchain projects investor, hijacked his cellphone number, reset password for Gmail account and cryptocurrency accounts of the investor. Investigator’s contact AT&T to find the devices IMEI numbers of the devices that used the investor’s number.

Once they have the IMEI numbers the investigators have sent the warrant to Google which discloses the email address connected with the device and then investigator’s blocked the cryptocurrency exchanges used by Ortiz. Full investigation report can found in Motherboard.

The SIM swapping attacks are in raise and anybody can fall prey to it. Last month Powai-based women fall’s victim for SIM Swap fraud and loses Rs 1 lakh.

Common Bank Fraud Techniques to steal your Information


Vishing also knows as Voice Phishing, a social engineering technique used by attackers over the telephone system to gain financial details, by using this method attackers steal payment card details.


Commonly carried out via e-mail spoofing and instant messaging, attackers present a fake page posing to be a trusted source and steal your banking credentials.


Smishing also knows as SMS phishing that involves in text messaging, the tactics used by attackers to leverage the payment card details and credentials.

Banking Malware

Banking malware is pushed through Social engineering, Phishing and spam emails and security vulnerabilities. They are designed to Steal Money, personal and financial information. Some of the well-known banking malware are Zeus, Spyeye, and Zitmo.

Also Read

US-CERT Alerts Powerful Emotet Banking Malware Attack on Government, Private and Public Sectors

New Variant of Dangerous Kronos Banking Malware Spreading via Malicious Word Documents

Beware of Fake Banking Malware Apps in Google Play That Steals Credit Card Details and Internet Banking Credentials


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