Threat Management

‘The Community’ hacking group members charged in SIM hijacking scheme

Nine members of The Community hacking group have been charged with aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud related to a SIM hijacking campaign designed to steal cryptocurrency.

Charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan are Conor Freeman, Ricky Handschumacher, Colton Jurisic, Reyad Gafar Abbas, Garrett Endicott and Ryan Stevenson. Also, named in the criminal complaint are Jarratt White, Robert Jack and Fendley Joseph.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said The Community used several methods to obtain the information required to hijack the victims SIM card/mobile phone, including bribing workers at mobile phone carriers and sometimes by contacting a mobile phone provider’s customer service department and by posing as the victim requesting the victim’s phone number be swapped to a SIM card owned by The Community.

White, Jack and Joseph worked for the carriers and supplied the group with the information needed to obtain the phone numbers.

These phone numbers were then used to gain access to the victim’s email accounts, cloud storage and eventually their digital currency wallets.

“For example, ‘The Community’ would use their control of victims’ phone numbers to reset passwords on online accounts and/or request two-factor authentication (2FA) codes that allowed them to bypass security measures,” the DOJ said.

Allegedly, the cyber gang was able to pull off seven successful attacks siphoning off $2.4 million in cryptocurrency.

If convicted the gang members face a maximum of 20 years for the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and another 20 years for the wire fraud charge.

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