Criminals have robbed dozens of bitcoin holders of their cryptocurrencies by means of sim swapping. This was done via a telephone shop in Vaals, Limburg. The damage per customer amounts to a maximum of 8,000 euros, NRC writes.
The T-Mobile dealer portal of the Vaalse shop would have been accessible via the internet and the criminals would have used the password of the owner of the shop. The owner also claims to have been a victim of a hack.
The system did not report the, in some cases, dozens of SIM swaps that were requested at the same time. At least ninety phone numbers would have been affected by sim swapping. Dozens of victims have reported to NRC as a result of earlier, similar reports. According to T-Mobile, it concerns a ‘handful’ of victims.
According to research from the newspaper, the criminals prefer bitcoin holders who use Hotmail addresses; they would often have an SMS code as a backup login method. The victims were presumably selected on the basis of data from the Ledger hardware wallet data breach that ended up on the internet in December. With access to the e-mail addresses, the criminals are likely to regain access to their cryptocurrency.
Normally, customers must come to a T-Mobile store with proof of identity to receive a new SIM card with their existing number. However, due to the measures surrounding the corona virus, that requirement has been dropped. T-Mobile says that as a result of these practices, the requirements for a new SIM card have been tightened: customers must still go to the store with their identification.
Those who cannot come to the store will be put in contact with a ‘special team’ who can still do the SIM change ‘with extra measures’. Finally, the protocols for identification have also been ‘further tightened’. T-Mobile says the case has started following a complaint by the company.
The police also raided the Vaal telephone shop on Friday. However, no arrests were made. Furthermore, the police say that the raid is related to the arrest of three T-Mobile employees in February, in the Parkstad region. They would also have done sim swapping. Those three are currently at large again.