Bart Stephens, a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Blockchain Capital, has taken legal action against an unidentified hacker involved in a sim-swap theft. Allegedly, the hacker is accused of gaining unauthorized access to $6.3 million worth of cryptocurrencies from Stephens’ digital wallets.

The individual, known as Jane Doe, is said to have exploited a vulnerability in SIM-swapping. This involved using personal information obtained from the dark web to bypass security protocols within the cellular network provider’s system.

This breach allowed the hacker to reset account passwords, gaining complete control over Stephens’ digital assets.

Subsequently, the lawsuit, filed on August 16 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, claims the hacker conducted the breach in May. They managed this by taking over Stephens’ cellular account and transferring his private cell number to another device.

Furthermore, in an unrelated incident earlier this month, an unauthorized breach compromised the integrity of the fund’s Twitter account, which was then illicitly exploited to promote a cryptocurrency token.

Rising Trends in SIM-Swap Theft: Insights from FBI Data

Rising Trends in SIM-Swap Theft: Insights from FBI Data

Moreover, the use of SIM-swapping tactics by cybercriminals is on the rise, a trend highlighted by the FBI. In 2022, these attacks resulted in around $72 million in financial losses, up from $68 million the previous year.

SIM-swapping attacks operate by manipulating customer service representatives of cellular networks to divulge sensitive personal information. Armed with this data, hackers can maneuver security protocols, transferring a victim’s phone number to a device they control.

Bart Stephens, along with his sibling Brad Stephens, played a pivotal role in founding Blockchain Capital in 2013. Bart holds a prominent position in the cryptocurrency domain. The fund is headquartered in San Francisco and has offered significant support to several notable crypto startups, including Coinbase, Kraken, and Opensea.

Hacker Tactics Unveiled: Manipulation, Communication, and Vigilance

Hacker Tactics Unveiled: Manipulation, Communication, and Vigilance

Additionally, according to the legal documents, the hacker utilized the compromised cell phone number to bypass password safeguards and authentication procedures across various digital wallets. Following this, the attacker systematically depleted the plaintiff’s digital assets.

However, Stephens claims the hacker even contacted him a day before taking off with the $6.3 million, demonstrating their capability to remotely manipulate U.S. phone numbers.

In another attempt, the hacker targeted an additional $14 million in bitcoin and ethereum from Stephens’ secure cold wallet. Fortunately, a vigilant employee at Blockchain Capital noticed suspicious activity and prevented the unauthorized withdrawal. This incident marked the first time Stephens learned about the breach affecting his account.

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