Announcing a Return to our Roots: The All-New Bitcoin Magazine

Hacker Gets 10 Years in First SIM-Swapping Sentencing in the U.S.

by

        Hacker Gets 10 Years in First SIM-Swapping Sentencing in the U.S.
Hacker Gets 10 Years in First SIM-Swapping Sentencing in the U.S.

According to a recent report, Joel Ortiz, the 20-year-old student from Boston who was indicted by prosecutors in Santa Clara, California, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in what is believed to be the very first SIM swapping conviction in the United States.

Ortiz was charged last year on 28 counts involving various computer-related violations and crimes concerning information law. Ortiz took control of the identities of over 20 people, stealing a total of $5 million in cryptocurrencies with his SIM swapping technique. He pleaded guilty and accepted the plea deal of 10 years jail time.

How SIM Swapping Works

SIM swapping is a technique that involves a criminal contacting the service provider of a target victim. The hacker will then use personal information acquired about a potential target to persuade the service provider to effect a phone number transfer from the current SIM card to one owned by the hacker. As soon as the swap has been executed, the hacker can request sensitive information including verification codes, one-time passwords and two-factor authentication entries, which are usually sent to a user’s mobile phone as part of a successful porting process. SIM swappers are known to target high-security online domains such as social media accounts, email addresses, bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets.

Other High Profile SIM Swapping Cases

Various SIM swapping cases have been reported lately, including Dawson Bakies, a tech-savvy criminal who used the same technique to make off with thousands of dollars in cryptocurrencies from over 50 victims across the U.S.

Per a press release from the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Bakies has been charged by a grand jury in the state of New York, and he currently faces a 52-count charge, including computer tampering, grand larceny, and identity theft. Bakies pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him, and he was subsequently released on a $100,000 bail.

Last year, American crypto investor and businessman Michael Terpin sued AT&T for $233.8 million over fraud and gross negligence on the part of the service provider which resulted in a SIM swapping operation that cost him millions of dollars in digital assets.

Three million tokens were stolen from Terpin’s crypto account, with a total worth of $23 million, at the time. He is also seeking an additional $200 million in punitive damages.

Recommended

First QuadrigaCX Monitor Report: $460k in BTC “Inadvertently” Sent to Cold Wallet

The court document states, “On February 6, 2019, Quadriga inadvertently transferred 103 bitcoins valued at approximately $468,675 to Quadriga cold wallets which the Company is currently unable to access.”

Colin Harper

Court Grants QuadrigaCX Bankruptcy Protection

On January 31, 2019, the cryptocurrency exchange went offline posting a statement that they had filed for creditor protection.

Jessie Willms

Top Officials at Two Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges Face Fraud Indictments

Several of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges have found themselves in hot water, with executives at a couple of exchanges facing criminal charges and jail time.

Landon Manning

Prosecutors Seek 10-Year Jail Sentence for Karpeles Over Mt. Gox Embezzlement

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles has run into trouble in the Japanese legal system, and prosecutors are pursuing a 10-year jail sentence for alleged embezzlement during his tenure at Mt. Gox.

Landon Manning