A 21-year-old student from the U.S. who stole around $7.5 million in cryptocurrency via SIM-swapping hacks has been sentenced to 10 decades in jail.
The Santa Clara County’s District Attorney’s Business office introduced Monday that the thief, Joel Ortiz, experienced hacked the cellphones of at minimum 40 people today. Ortiz was a “prolific” SIM swapper, the Attorney’s Business office mentioned, adding that in just one crime in May 2018, he stole much more than $5.2 million “in minutes” from a cryptocurrency entrepreneur in Cupertino, California.
He “lavishly” spent the stolen cash, like $10,000 at Los Angeles clubs, employing a helicopter to go to a new music festival and on Gucci luggage and clothes, in accordance to the announcement.
Ortiz was taken into custody at Los Angeles Intercontinental Airport previous year and pleaded no contest (accepting the charges but not pleading responsible) to 10 felony theft charges earlier this year.
Right after two hearings, Ortiz was sentenced on Friday by Santa Clara County Choose Edward Lee, becoming just one of the initial people in the U.S. to be convicted of stealing cryptocurrency by SIM swapping.
Choose Lee mentioned:
“These are not Robin Hoods. These are crooks who use a computer as a substitute of a gun. They are not just stealing some ethereal, experimental currency. They are stealing school cash, property mortgages, people’s monetary lives.”
The scenario was investigated by the React (Regional Enforcement Allied Laptop Group) Task Force, which subsequently seized $400,000 from Ortiz following his arrest. The rest of the cash have possibly been spent or have been concealed, the Attorney’s Business office mentioned.
SIM-swap hacks – in which attackers deal with to clone victims’ SIM playing cards in purchase to entry on the web accounts – are an increasingly well known implies of crypto theft. Earlier this year, a 20-year-old person from Ohio was formally billed in a New York Supreme Court docket indictment for stealing the identities and cryptocurrency holdings of around 50 victims across the U.S. via SIM-swaps.
In November, U.S.-centered legislation agency Silver Miller filed arbitration promises from AT&T and T-Cell on behalf of victims of SIM-swap hacks, expressing just one of its clientele experienced dropped around $621,000 in cryptocurrency in this way.
The legislation agency alleged:
“By leaving holes in their safety protocols and failing to effectively coach and monitor their staff members, cellphone providers have assisted thieves in remotely taking around the SIM playing cards in people’s smartphones, accessing monetary documents and account information and facts of the victims, and emptying the victim’s accounts of cryptocurrency and other beneficial assets.”
SIM card picture via Shutterstock