Police electronic crimes unit arrest suspected “SIM Swap” hacker

29 June 2020
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The Hellenic Police on Saturday announced that the Electronic Crime Unit officers have arrested a 23-year-old suspected hacker in Athens. The suspect is accused of illegally accessing information systems, causing up to one million euros in damage, and violating laws on drugs.

According to the Greek police, the young man had hacked the phones of workers in companies based abroad with the assistance of unknown accomplices, using a method known as ‘SIM Swap’, and gained access to their e-mail and personal accounts on an online platform.

The ‘Sim Swap’ scam is used to port the victim’s phone number to a device with a different SIM, usually by contacting the victim’s service provider and using personal details obtained about the victim to be verified as the rightful user.

The investigation was launched following a report from foreign authorities that the electronic accounts of at least seven firms abroad that offer online, internet forum, third-party management and cloud repository services had been hacked. The damage sustained as a result is estimated in excess of one million euros, mainly due to loss of source code for apps.

In a raid on the suspect’s home, the police found and confiscated a computer with two hard drives, a cryptocurrency wallet device, 57 prescription pills, small quantities of cannabis, precision scales and six SIM cards of a foreign mobile phone service provider. A search of the 23-year-old’s computer system confirmed his participation in illegal activities, police said.

The evidence will be sent to police forensic laboratories and the suspect was taken before an Athens prosecutor and is to appear before an examining magistrate.

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