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HomeCyber Security"PlugWalkJoe" indicted for $784K SIM swap cryptocurrency theft

“PlugWalkJoe” indicted for $784K SIM swap cryptocurrency theft


The U.S. Division of Justice charged a British man for his alleged position in stealing $784,000 value of cryptocurrency utilizing SIM swap assaults.

In accordance with the unsealed indictment, Joseph James O’Connor – also referred to as “PlugWalkJoe” – conspired with others to steal roughly $784,000 value of cryptocurrency from a Manhattan-based cryptocurrency firm.

It’s alleged that O’Connor, who’s in his early twenties, perpetrated a scheme with unnamed co-conspirators to hijack management of three cellphone numbers belonging to executives of the focused agency.

O’Connor and his associates are accused of pulling off a SIM-swap assault, which usually see fraudsters efficiently dupe a cellphone supplier’s buyer assist into giving them management of another person’s cellphone quantity.

If a SIM-swap assault is profitable, a fraudster won’t simply obtain cellphone calls supposed for his or her sufferer. They could additionally obtain one-time passwords and 2FA codes utilized by some on-line providers to authenticate whether or not a person is allowed to log right into a system or not.

The Justice Division claims that after a profitable SIM-swap assault, O’Connor and others managed to realize unauthorized entry to employees accounts on the firm and its laptop methods.

On or about Might 1, 2019, it’s alleged that O’Connor and his cohorts then diverted the cryptocurrency held by the focused firm on behalf of two of its shoppers into cryptocurrency wallets below their very own management.

The group allegedly stole a complete of 770.784869 Bitcoin money, 6,363.490509 Litecoin, 407.396074 Ethereum, and seven.456728 Bitcoin.

If the identify “PlugWalkJoe” is acquainted to you, then which may be as a result of O’Connor was arrested earlier this 12 months in relation to July 2020’s large hack of celeb Twitter accounts, a scheme which tried to trick followers of the likes of Joe Biden, Kanye West, and Elon Musk into falling for a cryptocurrency rip-off.

Some screenshots of the cryptocurrency scam

Within the aftermath of that top profile safety breach, O’Connor confirmed a shocking willingness to verify that he was “PlugWalkJoe,” telling the New York Instances in July 2020 that he was not nervous about police investigating his actions:

“I don’t care. They’ll come arrest me. I’d chortle at them. I haven’t performed something.”

A selfie of Joseph James O'Connor, aka "PlugWalkJoe"

O’Connor is presently awaiting extradition from Spain, the place he was apprehended earlier this 12 months. He might face a prolonged jail sentence if convicted of the varied legal costs introduced in opposition to him.


Editor’s Notice: The opinions expressed on this visitor writer article are solely these of the contributor, and don’t essentially replicate these of Tripwire, Inc.

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