01:05 GMT08 March 2021
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    According to Europol's press release, the "attacks orchestrated by this criminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020, including famous internet influencers, sport stars, musicians and their families”.

    Ten hackers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing cryptocurrency worth $100 million from celebrities, Europol said. 

    On 9 February, eight arrests were made that followed previous ones made in Malta and Belgium. 

    By hijacking phone numbers, criminals stole more than $100 million in cryptocurrency, the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation added.

    According to Europol, the suspects were involved in a series of so-called SIM swapping attacks targeting high-profile victims in the United States. This type of fraud involves cybercriminals taking over the use of a victim’s phone number by essentially deactivating their SIM card and porting the allocated number over to a SIM card which belonged to a member of the criminal network. The criminals also hijacked social media accounts, including those of celebrities, to post content and send messages disguised as the victim.

    The arrests come as a result of a year-long Europol-coordinated international investigation involving law enforcement authorities from the UK, US, Canada, Belgium, and Malta.

    Tags:
    hackers, celebrities, cryptocurrency, Europol
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