A law firm focused on cryptocurrency and based in the United States, Silver Miller stated that it has filed arbitration claims against two mobile companies AT&T and T-Mobile on issues involving “Sim Swapping” cellphone hacks which were caused by some unknown criminals.
Both firms received complaints from their respective clients reporting to them how they have lost funds to some unknown criminals that used the increasingly common method of infiltrating mobile devices to access cryptocurrency wallets and two-factor authentication codes.
“By leaving holes in their security protocols and failing to properly train and monitor their employees, cellphone providers have assisted thieves in remotely taking over the SIM cards in people’s smartphones, accessing financial records and account information of the victims, and emptying the victim’s accounts of cryptocurrency and other valuable assets,” the firm stated.
One of AT&T customers was reported to have lost $621,000 of cryptocurrency through a SIM swap attack, stated Silver Miller in a press release. This according to the Silver Miller happened at a time after AT&T “had assured him it had increased security on his account following an earlier attempted hack.”
But that’s not it. Other cases have also been filed against T-Mobile. Two clients were also reported to have been robbed of $400,000 and $250,000 respectively, via SIM swaps “permitted” by the telecom firm.
While the service exists for legitimate reasons, such as SIM card damage or switching providers, SIM swapping can also allow criminals to arrange for a telecoms company to reassign a user’s account to another SIM, allowing full access to all calls, messages, and notifications.
Silver Miller said that all it takes for a swap to be arranged “a persuasive plea for assistance, a willing telecommunications carrier representative, and an electronic impersonation of the victim.”
“For the amounts being stolen and the number of people being successful at taking it, the numbers are probably historic. We’re talking about kids aged mainly between 19 and 22 being able to steal millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies,” stated Smay Tarazi, a sergeant at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office and a REACT supervisor.