The FBI & Blockchain: Investigation into SIM Swapping

The FBI & Blockchain: Investigation into SIM Swapping

One of the leading crypto exchanges suffered a loss of 7,000 Bitcoins, priced at more than $40 million, last month which was a big surprise for the industry. Of course, unless you’ve been living under a rock the past month, you will know that exchange was Binance.

It seems to now be a hot trend, a crime gaining popularity among elite programmers and fintech experts to exploit loopholes in smart contracts and vulnerabilities in crypto platforms.

Chainalysis notes that hackers have stolen cryptocurrency amounting to $2 billion since 2017.

In fact, an associate blockchain editor at the MIT Technology Review, Mike Orcutt claims “Most of these are never revealed”.

During September last year, a Japenese-based crypto exchange called Zaif was hacked and was a victim to a loss of just under 6,000 Bitcoins. A valuation of which by that time was worth over $65 million.

As reported by ZyCrypto:

“The company tasked with investigating the Zaif Security breach, Tech Bureau pointed out that a group of hackers’ gained unauthorized access to the exchange’s valuable wallets; and eventually made away with a mix of Bitcoin cash, Bitcoins and monacoin. Until today, neither Zaif nor Tech Bureau has been able to uncover the amount of Bitcoin Cash that was stolen.”

Back in March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), released a stun warning to crypto users in regards to the security threats of sim swapping. The FBI’s San-Francisco branch team has claimed that a hacker could easily take control of a user’s device during a sim swap.

The threat became even more apparent after Michael Terpin lost millions of dollars in assets following a simple sim swap. Subsequently, Terpin launched a $224 million lawsuit against the mobile payment service, AT&T.

A special agent in charge of the San-Francisco branch John Bennet has said:

“The FBI has seen an increase in the use of SIM swapping by criminals to steal digital currency using information found on social media. This includes personally identifying information or details about the victim’s digital currency accounts.”

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