Prosecutors: Two men used SIM swapping to extort cryptocurrency

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In an indictment unsealed Monday, two men were accused by federal prosecutors of SIM swapping, an activity by which they allegedly committed “device fraud, extortion, and aggravated identity theft.”

The SIM swapping technique allows a person to fool a mobile carrier into transferring someone else’s number to them—thus enabling possible account hijacking or other password resets that rely on the phone number itself as an authentication device.

In a press release issued Monday evening by the United States Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, Ahmad Wagaafe Hared and Matthew Gene Ditman were “engaged in a scheme to obtain by fraud and extortion cryptocurrencies and other money and property owned and controlled by executives of cryptocurrency-related companies and cryptocurrency investors.”

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