A minor and recently ousted member of The Chuckling Squad was arrested approximately two weeks ago, according to VICE’s Motherboard, citing Debug - a leader of the hacker group.
"He was a member of Chuckling Squad but not anymore. He was an active member for us by providing celebs/public figure [phone] numbers and helped us hack them," Debug told the outlet - one of the targets being actor Chloë Grace Moretz.
Most of these hacks were carried out through a technique called SIM-swapping. A SIM, or subscriber identity module, card can be rendered inactive if a hacker is able to convince a cellphone service provider that the phone in question has been lost or stolen.
If convinced, the provider will deactivate the victim’s actual SIM card and give the hacker a new one, allowing them to receive the individual’s texts, phone calls and other data.
In an email to Motherboard, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office applauded “the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies involved in this arrest,” but did not release the individual’s name due to his age.
The DA’s office went on to assert its Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team will continue to “work with and assist our law enforcement partners in any way we can. We hope this arrest serves as a reminder to the public that people who engage in these crimes will be caught, arrested and prosecuted."
One individual that fell victim to this technique was Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Being that hackers who SIM-swap have the target’s entire phone number, they are able to log into the victim’s various accounts through text or email-based authentication.
In Dorsey’s case, he found his Twitter account targeted by The Chuckling Squad on August 30. After the hacker group gained access, Dorsey’s account (@jack) tweeted out several racist, sexist and anti-Semitic posts.
The social media platform was able to regain control of the CEO’s account after approximately one hour of disruption.
The account is now secure, and there is no indication that Twitter's systems have been compromised.— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) August 30, 2019
“The phone number associated with the account was compromised due to a security oversight by the mobile provider,” the Twitter Communications team said in a follow-up tweet.
When asked about the minor who was recently arrested, a Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard, “We have no comment.”