A 17-year-old man who lives in Malta has been arrested in connection with a gang who allegedly hijacked the mobile phones of celebrities to steal personal information and in excess of $100 million in cryptocurrency.
The identity of the 17-year-old, who is hacker, has not been revealed. He allegedly accessed the Instagram profiles of “several celebrities” and started threatening victims.
Maltese police said that the young man was arrested following an investigation that started in November 2019. Upon a search of his residence, investigators discovered electronic devices and luxury items.
In a statement, Europol said that the ring could have stolen in excess of $100 million in cryptocurrencies and personal information from famous figures, influencers, sports stars, musicians and their families.
Police believe that the gangs employed SIM swap attacks, which is when the target’s SIM is deactivated and transferred to another system belonging to the gang.
After accessing their phone numbers, the gang members took control of apps by using password reset codes, stealing money and personal information in the process.
It is not yet clear which celebrities were targeted.
The arrests came after a joint investigation from Maltese, British, American, Canadian, and Belgian authorities.
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