A Hamilton youth has been charged with theft of $46 million in cryptocurrency after investigators learned that some of it was put to purchase gaming usernames.
Det.-Const said local police worked with the FBI and the US Secret Service to investigate millions of missing notes in what was known as the SIM swap attack. Kenneth Kirkpatrick from the Cybercrime Unit of the Hamilton Police Service.
The three agencies began working together in March 2020 after an American reported the loss.
On Wednesday, investigators seized $7 million in cryptocurrency.
Kirkpatrick would not state the exact age or gender of the youth, or the username that the user purchased. He also did not specify whether the young man was acting alone, saying the matter is currently in Hamilton’s court.
But he said investigators uncovered the case after the names were bought on the gaming network.
Police said it was the largest personal cryptocurrency theft ever from a single person.
“The amount is, of course, pretty surprising,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s a huge amount, and it’s a huge amount in one’s opinion.”
What is SIM Swap Attack?
A SIM swap attack occurs when someone manipulates cellular network employees into impersonating phone numbers, so that the person can use the number to circumvent two-step authorization requests.
In other words, if someone is sent a code to their phone to retrieve the password, the thief can intercept that code to access the account, says Guy-Vincent Jourdan, a professor in the Ottawa School of Engineering and Computer Science. Huh. ,
Kirkpatrick said this is especially powerful because many people use the same password for multiple sites.
Jordan, who is not involved in the case, said that the cryptocurrency system has a lot of vulnerabilities that could be exploited for fraud and theft.
Fewer security measures for crypto
“There is no regulation,” he said. “There’s no backup. There’s no guarantee of anything,” Jordan said.
“If you use the normal banking system, banks are regulated. You might say, ‘I didn’t mean to do that transaction.’ You can contact that bank, get money back. There is centralization. There is control over it. There is nothing like that in crypto.
“There are absolutely zero security measures to give you the possibility to say ‘oops’.”
Kirkpatrick said cyber and cryptocurrency crimes are increasingly common. His unit began in 2018, and educates other Hamilton police officers and the public.