Scott Melker, also known as the "Wolf of All Streets," says he was the victim of a SIM swap attack in February but managed to avoid losing any crypto assets.
In a Aug. 4 post on Melker's website titled Security Tips And Lessons Learned From My Hack, the trader said he was able to protect access to his bank accounts, credit cards, and crypto exchanges after a hacker assumed his identity by tricking his phone carrier and diverted Melker's communications to the hacker's phone.
According to Melker, the hacker had access to his number and text messages - which would have given them access to all his funds if he'd relied on two-factor authentication delivered via text message.
"This is the single thing that largely saved me from the most damage," said Melker.
Hackers reportedly stole $8.7 in crypto assets from Reggie Middleton, CEO of crypto firm Veritaseum, in a series of T-Mobile SIM swap attacks in July 2017.
Investor Michael Terpin Terpin also claims that he lost $24 million worth of crypto as a result of two AT&T SIM swap hacks that occurred between 2017-2018.So how does Melker suggest avoiding a similar fate?
"Never use SMS verification as a part of your 2FA," Melker stated definitively.
2FA is a double edged sword - it offers protection when used correctly, but allows easy access to everything if it is simply a text message to your phone - because the hacker will be receiving your texts and calls.
"The minute they swap your SIM card, everything on your present phone becomes a liability."
In regards to crypto assets in particular, Melker encouraged traders to remove their phone numbers from exchanges, and keep their assets in cold storage.
Scott Melker Recounts How He Fell Victim to a SIM Swap Attack
Published on Aug 5, 2020
by Cointele | Published on Coinage
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