Europol Busts Two SIM-Swapping Hacking Rings

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Jul 27, 2015
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After months-long, cross-border investigations, Europol announced on Friday that it’s arrested more than two dozen people suspected of draining bank accounts by hijacking victims’ phone numbers via SIM-swap fraud.

Following a ramp-up in SIM-jacking over recent months, police across Europe have been gearing up to dismantle criminal networks that organize these attacks, Europol says. That growth mirrors what’s happening in the US: In October, the FBI warned that bad guys were getting around some types of two-factor authentication (2FA). The easiest – and, therefore, the most common – way to sneak past 2FA is SIM-swap fraud, where an attacker convinces a mobile network (or bribes an employee) to port a target’s mobile number or plants malware on a victim’s phone, thereby allowing them to intercept 2FA security codes sent via SMS text.
 
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