In what is known as a SIM swap attack on an unsuspecting victim in the United States, a Hamilton, Ontario adolescent is accused of stealing C$46 million ($36 million) in cryptocurrencies. According to Hamilton Police, this is the largest crypto heist ever committed by a single person.
According to a story published in news platform the Street, Hamilton police, who worked the case with the US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and the FBI to arrest the teen, told that the clout-chasing Canadian might have gotten away with it too if he hadn’t decided to spend some of the loot on an “online username that was considered to be rare in the gaming community.”
The officials investigated the account holder of the unusual username, which led them to the anonymous adolescent, who now faces a maximum term of ten years in jail. After spending some of the money on a very prized online gaming identity, law enforcement was able to apprehend the alleged criminal. Police confiscated more than $5.5 million in cryptocurrencies after the arrest.
Cryptocurrency exchanges, in particular, have been frequent targets of crypto heists, with little recourse. This is because, unlike traditional banks, the exchanges are unable to simply reverse a charge.
It’s worth mentioning that this is Canada’s greatest cryptocurrency-related theft to date. Sim swapping, on the other hand, isn’t a new issue; it’s been a hot topic among federal agencies since at least 2016.
To avoid being a victim of sim swap attacks, users should delete their phone numbers from centralized crypto exchanges and safeguard their funds in cold storage. An even better option could be to use a physical security key, which makes it nearly hard for bad actors to gain access to a person’s sensitive information.