28 SIM swap attacks and Californian Charged Over Crypto Extortion

28 SIM swap attacks and Californian Charged Over Crypto Extortion

By stvleong | Steven Leong | 11 Jun 2020

A 20-year- old was charged with his role in dozens of SIM-swap attacks, including an attempt to extort a doctor from 100 Bitcoin attacks.


Richard Yuan Li, 20, from California is accused of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud because of his role in SIM swap-attacks aimed at at least 20 individuals, and of attempting to extort an investor known only as the 'Investor A' from New Orleans based doctor and cryptocurrency.

From January 2018 to February 2019, Li is expected to work with others to defraud many victims through SIM-swapping attacks, while some of the co-conspirators are still unknown to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

SIM swaps involve retransferring the SIM of a victim to a phone owned by the attackers to allow them to have access to personal data and sensitive accounts, including e-mails, bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets.

20-year-old charged with assaults by the Game swap
The complaint states that Li took part in a fraud scheme in January 2018. Apple Inc. After Apple customer support staff were told that they did not receive an iPhone 8 from the company, Lie and his conspirators were able to take over a second device.

Victim A's telephone number was replaced on 10 November with a SIM card in the fraudulently acquired iPhone 8 that Li operated from his sleeping quarters in San Diego.

Attackers order 100 Bitcoins.
Li and his co-conspirators were able to gain control of the e-mail of VICE A before accessing various cryptocurrency exchanges in a number of physician accounts.

Following the theft of "a large proportion of the cryptocurrency of Victim A," the team called on the physician to demand a ransom of 100 bitcoins (BTCs) to avoid leaks of sensitive information and ostensibly to regain power over its crypto accounts.

Li has taken part in 28 SIM attacks between October 2018 and December 2018, targeting at least 19 other victims.

When convicted, Li faces a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

She steals $23.8 million over 15 years via SIM-swap
In May, the outstanding crypto investitioner and the victim of the 2018 SIM-swap attack in the amount of $23.8 million, Michael Terpin filed a civil suit for $71.4 for hack damages against Ellis Pinsky, 18, of Irvington, New York.

At the time of the attack, Pinsky was only 15 years old and planned to retreat early after the attack.


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Steven Leong
Steven Leong

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