SIM Swaps- Unfortunately too Common

SIM swapping is an unfortunately common means by which bad actors can access a cryptocurrency holder’s assets.  In fact, Princeton University researchers conducted a study to determine how this worked empirically.  They looked at AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, US Mobile and Verizon, and attempted SIM swaps with these carriers. What they found is deeply concerning. Their findings include that “mobile carriers use insecure methods for authenticating SIM swaps,” “some carriers allow SIM swaps without authentication,” and “some carriers disclose personal information without authentication, including answers to authentication challenges.”  The researchers’ note that their attempts at conducting SIM swaps at major carriers were all successful, as were some of the attempts at Tracfone and US Mobile.  The paper can be found here https://www.usenix.org/system/files/soups2020-lee.pdf 

These findings confirm that SIM swapping is a serious problem, and is far too easily to complete. Although it is devastating to have a phone number and other personal information taken, there may be recourse to help those who lost money due to a cryptocurrency SIM swap. A cryptocurrency litigation attorney can assist you in evaluating your situation to determine whether you may be able to file a lawsuit or arbitration.

If you have questions about a SIM swap, contact Michael Haeberle at mhaeberle@pattersonlawfirm.com.

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