The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued an industry-wide warning this week, stating that there may be attacks on exchanges and cryptocurrency holders. The agency claims that there is a threat to actively track virtual asset platforms to control these assets, causing financial losses in the process. Sim exchange, account theft, and technical support personnel are the means to accomplish these attacks.

FBI predicts cryptocurrency attacks

Last week, the FBI issued a warning against impending attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and holders. The warning is distributed using the TLP protocol and is intended to send required information to certain groups. It received a green designation, which means that the FBI allows peer and partner organizations in the crypto community to share this information.

The FBI said that some groups are actively tracking the loopholes of these companies to take action. It explains that these groups are using a set of technologies to implement these means. These technologies include SIM exchange, technical support fraud, and account theft. The warning also details some recommendations for organizations to keep their assets safe: pay close attention to emails received and monitor abnormal changes in accounts.

The FBI recommends that cryptocurrency holders always use two-factor authentication and pay attention to the information they share on social media. However, it is difficult to prevent sim exchange attacks.

Analog exchange

Sim swap attacks are difficult to solve because they are relatively easy to complete. The attacker only needs to know the phone number of the potential victim. These attackers then proceed in two different forms: the first involves identity theft, where the attacker tricks the technical representative into believing that the affected person has lost or damaged the SIM card. This will prompt them to issue a new SIM card to the attacker.

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Another vector involves the internal contacts of the telephone operator. The attacker used this contact to obtain a new SIM card containing the potential victim’s number. Even if there is some kind of multi-factor authentication defense, this allows them to gain access from the exchange. The FBI has warned of these dangers before.

Some high-profile sim exchange cases are already in the public eye: Blockchain investor Michael Terpin sued AT&T for negligence after he suffered a criminal exchange attack in 2020, demanding compensation of US$200 million. A judge eventually dismissed the lawsuit, but it proposed analog exchanges and cryptocurrencies in the eyes of the public. In addition, Europol blocked the SIM exchange operation that stole more than $100 of cryptocurrency in February last year.

What do you think of the FBI’s latest warning about possible cryptocurrency attacks? Tell us in the comments section below.

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