Published on 13/02/2021 at 12:11 pm
Updated on 13/02/2021 at 2:19 pm
Hackers have managed to steal more than $100 million by recovering the phone numbers of many stars in particular.
They are sportsmen, singers, influencers… All of them were victims of a large-scale operation of Web hackers during the year 2020. It was the European Criminal Police Agency (Europol) that announced on Wednesday 10 February a vast net blow, with the arrest of eight people in the course of its investigation, reports L’Usine digitale (The Digital Factory). In all, the hackers managed to confiscate more than 100 million dollars (just over 82 million euros) in cryptomoney from these celebrities and their families thanks to the technique known as « SIM Swapping » (in French, permutation of Sim, editor’s note).
As Le Figaro details, this technique consists of Web pirates taking the identity of a phone owner, then contacting the telephone operator, claiming for example that the number has been stolen and finally having the number transferred to a new SIM card. They then have access to all the necessary data. Afterwards, it’s easy to embezzle money, empty bank accounts or retrieve passwords, for example.
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One year of investigation
The investigation, which will have lasted almost a year, conducted jointly with the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Malta, Canada and thus Interpol, has led to the arrest of eight people aged between 18 and 26, most of them in Scotland or England but also two others in Belgium and Malta, details Le Figaro. A new success for Europol, barely a month after the dismantling of the Emotet network, after several years of investigation. Servers tasked with distributing malicious software were able to « compromise machines » with the help of an e-mail containing dubious links. According to Europol, Emotet was acting « to open the doors of computer systems worldwide ».
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