Hackers are targeting cell phone numbers to gain easy access to victims’ online accounts — and virtual currency, the New York Times reported.
According to the Times, hackers have increasingly been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and AT&T and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the hacker’s control. The hacker then resets the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup.
“My iPad restarted, my phone restarted and my computer restarted, and that’s when I got the cold sweat and was like, ‘O.K., this is really serious,'” Chris Burniske, a virtual currency investor who lost control of his phone number, told the Times.
According to the Times, within minutes of getting control of Burniske’s phone, his attackers had changed the password on his virtual currency wallet and drained the contents of an estimated $150,000.