Democrats from the United States Congress have demanded that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) take steps to address SIM swap attacks.
According to the publication, after receiving a large number of reports for SIM theft, a group of congressional legislators sent a letter to the FCC president, Ajit Pai, urging him to do more to hold cell operators accountable for the low cost crime but often highly lucrative.
Senators Ron Wyden (Oregon), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Ed Markey (Massachusetts) and representatives Ted Lieu (California), Anna Eshoo (California) and Yvette Clarke (New York) make up the group that sent the letter to Pai.
Lawmakers are primarily concerned about the lack of comprehensive consumer protection policies in the United States. According to the document sent, legislators wrote:
“The implementation of these additional security measures by wireless service providers in the United States is still irregular and it is unlikely that consumers will find out about the availability of these dark and optional security features until it is too late. “
In addition, they also demanded to know how the FCC tracks SIM exchange reports, if it has been educating the public about prevention and if it has investigated such attacks in the past, according to the source.
The report highlights that one of the most public victims of a sim exchange attack has been cryptocurrency investor and communications executive Michael Terpin, who lost more than $ 20 million in 2018.
He sued AT&T, his cell phone provider, alleging that the company did not protect him and that he was responsible for his employees allegedly working with the scammers.
In July, a federal judge in the United States decided to reject AT&T’s request to dismiss a lawsuit in the amount of $224 million for the SIM-Swap incident that resulted in a theft of $24 million in cryptocurrencies to Terpin.
Los Angeles federal judge Otis Wright II ruled that the telecommunications company should respond to Terpin’s lawsuit for allowing the theft of millions of dollars of cryptocurrencies by giving hackers access to the victim’s SIM card .
A SIM exchange scam is an account acquisition fraud that generally points to a weakness in two-factor authentication and two-step verification in which the second factor or step is a text message or a call made To a mobile phone.
Therefore, the scam begins when the scammer obtains basic information about an individual, either through the use of phishing emails, buying them from organized criminals or through the victim’s direct social engineering. Then they use it to request that the phone number of that user be changed to a SIM card that the attackers possess. Once this is done, the attacker can receive any SMS the victim receives.
There have been many cases of swapping sim reported to date and it is a practice that continues to increase.