Two men sentenced for nationwide scheme to steal social media accounts and cryptocurrency | Takeover bid

Two Massachusetts men were convicted today of a massive scheme to take control of victims’ social media accounts and steal their cryptocurrency using techniques including “SIM card swapping,” hacking and other methods.

Eric Meiggs, 24, of Brockton, was sentenced to two years and a day in prison. Declan Harrington, 22, of Beverly, was sentenced to two years and seven days in prison.

According to court documents, Meiggs and Harrington targeted cryptocurrency company executives and others who likely had significant amounts of cryptocurrency and those with high-value or “OG” social media account names. (slang for Original Gangster). Meiggs and Harrington conspired to hack and take control of these victims’ online accounts so they could obtain valuables, like cryptocurrency. They used an illegal practice known as “SIM-swapping” and other techniques to access, take control of, and in some cases steal cryptocurrency from accounts.

In “SIM swapping”, cybercriminals convince a victim’s mobile carrier to reassign the victim’s mobile phone number from the SIM card (subscriber identity module card) to the inside of victim’s cellphone to sim card inside cellphone controlled by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals then impersonate the victim to an online account provider and ask the provider to send account password reset links or passcode to the SIM-swapping device now controlled by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals can then reset the login credentials to the victim’s account and use the login credentials to access the victim’s account without permission, or “hack” the account.

Meiggs and Harrington targeted at least 10 identified victims across the country. The conspiracy members allegedly stole approximately $330,000 in cryptocurrency from these victims. Meiggs allegedly took control of two victims’ ‘OG’ accounts with social media companies.

Assistant Attorney Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins for the District of Massachusetts, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office have makes the announcement.

The FBI field office in Boston investigated the case, with the assistance of IRS Criminal Investigations.

Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto for the Senior District of Massachusetts prosecuted the case.

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