Chicago man accused in $400 million FTX crypto hack freed on bail (Part-2)

SIM switching lets attackers take over a phone number by reassigning it to a new handset. Authorities say such assaults may target funds and control social media accounts to propagate disinformation, making them a rising security danger for government organizations and enterprises.

Recent high-profile attacks on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Twitter account employed a similar approach. Powell, who used the online aliases “R$” and “ElSwapo1,” conspired with others to steal victims' personal information, according to the 18-page indictment, which was released in Chicago during removal hearings.

According to the allegations, the schemers generated bogus ID cards and showed them to cellular service provider retail locations in several states to get them to “port” data from the victims' phones.

The indictment said that the defendants could bypass two-factor authentication and access victims' virtual currency accounts, social media passwords, email, and other sensitive data after transferring the information.

Seven instances were stated in the indictment of the schemers hacking victims' accounts and stealing bitcoin. Powell reportedly ordered co-conspirators to undertake a SIM swap against an FTX employee in November 2022, the biggest.

According to the indictment, a co-schemer mailed Hernandez a fake ID with the victim's information but Hernandez's photo. Hernandez then got a Texas mobile phone service store to transfer the victim's data to a new device using the fake ID. The indictment states that the co-conspirators stole over $400 million in virtual money from the corporation within hours.

Powell allegedly took the identification of “A.C.,” another victim, the same day. The allegations say that a separate co-conspirator impersonated A.C. at a Texas mobile store and took approximately $600,000 in virtual currency after the SIM exchange.

The indictment alleged that the organization committed several similar crimes between March 2021 and April 2023, including a November 2022 theft of over $1 million from a Utah cellphone store using the stolen identity of victim “V.C.

Indictments show the organization performed similar schemes at retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, and Florida.

Keep an eye out for more updates!