SIM swapping is a type of cyber-attack where the perpetrator obtains access to a victim’s cell phone and personal information. The attacker is able to take control of the victim’s phone number, leaving them unable to make or receive calls. In some cases, the hacker can even gain access to banking information or other personal data stored on the device.
Two prominent cryptocurrency influencers have been affected by SIM swapping attacks. They are Justin Sun, founder of cryptocurrency payment platform TRON, and Jeremy Allaire, co-founder of financial technology company Circle.
Sun was notified of a successful SIM swap attack in December 2020. The attackers allegedly gained access to millions of dollars in crypto assets stored in his TRON wallets. Allaire was notified of a SIM swap attack affecting his personal Circle account in February 2021.
It is not currently clear who is behind these attacks, however, investigation into the attacks is ongoing.
Generally, SIM swapping attacks are difficult to detect and can be carried out quite easily. To protect yourself from such an attack, users are advised to enable two-factor authentication on all their accounts and to keep a close eye on their online activity. Additionally, users are also encouraged to call their wireless carrier to ask what security measures they have in place to protect users from such SIM swap attacks.