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Hackers Amp Up Crypto Attacks in SIM Swap Strategy

Swim swaps allow thieves, through fraud and bribes, scammers convince mobile employees to transfer the victim's phone number to the thief's SIM card.
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The burst in cryptocurrency popularity over the last couple of years has hackers licking their chops as unsuspecting investors pour money into the online currency. 

Many of the thefts are occurring through what is called a SIM swap attack where hackers exploit security weaknesses at mobile carriers. 

"Carriers must be agile and innovative in fighting fraud and should not be anchored by prescriptive requirements tied to specific technologies or methods,” AT&T told the Wall Street Journal. 

SIM swaps allow thieves, through fraud and bribes, scammers convince mobile employees to transfer the victim's phone number to the thief's SIM card.

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When that happens, the victim's mobile phone will no longer be connected to the mobile network and the scammer will receive all SMS and voice calls, including those used for authentication. 

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On Monday, the Wall Street Journal told the story of Rosa Maguina, who saw her Binance and Coinbase crypto accounts emptied to the tune of $80,000 shortly after noticing that her phone temporarily lost a signal earlier this year. 

On Friday, a Hamilton, Ontario teen was arrested and is accused of stealing C$46 million ($36 million) worth of cryptocurrency in what is known as a SIM swap attack on an unsuspecting victim in the U.S.