How to Protect Your Cryptocurrency & Identity from SIM Swapping Hack

October 19, 2021 Author: Brian Levin

With Over 50 Million Affected by Latest T-Mobile Data Breach, Contact Levin Law, P.A. for a Free Case Evaluation 

On August 17, 2021, T-Mobile confirmed that a cyberattack had exposed critical data for millions of current, former, prospective, and pre-paid customers. The data breach involved personal information such as social security numbers (SSN), names, addresses, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers. The attack also allowed hackers to engage in a devastating SIM-swap scam which cost some cryptocurrency holders millions.

At Levin Law, P.A., we are investigating cryptocurrency losses related to the T-Mobile cyberattack and other data breaches. If you experienced financial harm as a result of a cellular company’s security failure, contact our office for a free case evaluation. 

Call (305) 402-9050 or email managing partner Brian Levin directly at contact@levinlawpa.com. We are currently accepting cases related to cryptocurrency and digital investment hacking.

What the T-Mobile Data Breach Exposed

T-Mobile’s recent data breach has affected over 50 million customers, according to reports. An August 27th news release from the company’s CEO, Mike Sievert, detailed what the company had learned about the attack and what they would be doing to protect customer data in the future.

According to updates provided by T-Mobile and Sievert, the cyberattack compromised the data of customers, providing hackers not only personal identifying information but also access to IMEI and IMSI information which are identifier numbers associated with a mobile device. 

Critically, the breach exposed certain individuals’ account PINs which are used to verify the identity of a caller wanting to make changes to their account. With an account PIN, a hacker is then given nearly unlimited access to a person’s device and engage in SIM swapping.

What Is SIM-Swapping?

SIM swapping is an elaborate fraud that allows a hacker to completely take over an individual’s mobile device and account. A SIM is a subscriber identity module and is unique to each customer. The SIM card saves personal information making it easy for a person to upgrade to a new device without losing all of their information. 

In a SIM swap scam, the hacker first accesses a person’s identifying information through a data breach. If the data includes the customer’s account PIN, the hacker can then use that one identifier to call into the cellular company and request that the SIM card is swapped to a new device. This then allows the hacker to overcome any two-factor authentication or two-step verification codes which usually send a text message to the person’s device.

Once the two-step authentication process is complete, hackers are able to gain access to an individual’s email, drive, and financial information. SIM swapping has been linked to multiple cryptocurrency thefts, including those of T-Mobile customers whose data was compromised in the most recent breach.

How to Tell If Your SIM Card Has Been Hacked

One of the easiest ways to confirm that your SIM card has been hacked is if your phone suddenly loses service. Victims of SIM card swaps report suddenly being unable to text, call, or receive emails on their devices. In some cases, individuals receive a text message from their carrier notifying them that their SIM card has been changed.

If your device suddenly stops sending and receiving text messages, or you are unable to make calls, notify your cellular carrier immediately. The problem is not unique to T-Mobile customers. It is crucial to protect your data regardless of your provider. With the increase in the availability of cryptocurrency, cyberattacks and SIM swap scams will likely continue to rise.

How To Protect Your Digital Wallet

The best way to protect your data is to be proactive. It is recommended that T-Mobile customers change their PINs. If you do not have a PIN code or password on your account, it is strongly encouraged that you assign one now. Avoid using easily accessible dates such as birthdays, phone numbers, or anniversaries.

Other ways to protect your data:

  • Do not respond to emails or text messages that request personal information
  • Be extra careful when someone requests personal information online
  • Use the authentication and two-way verification features on your devices for added security
  • Lock your phone account with a PIN or passcode (ask your provider if not already set up)

In a detailed report regarding protecting your identity, CNET suggests utilizing a password manager to keep track of all of your passwords, enabling you to make them more secure. Adding as many extra layers of security as possible is key to protecting your information.

If a data breach does occur, CNET recommends:

  • Freezing your credit;
  • Using a credit monitoring service; and
  • Enrolling in identity theft monitoring.

In response to the security breach, T-Mobile is offering two years of free identity protection services to all affected customers and has made Account Takeover Protection available for postpaid customers.

Affected by a Cellular Data Breach? Contact Levin Law Today.

If you suffered financial loss as a result of a cellular company’s data breach, contact Levin Law, P.A. today for a free case evaluation. Call (305) 402-9050 or email contact@levinlawpa.com to speak directly with managing partner Brian Levin. 

Most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that clients are not obligated to pay Levin Law’s attorney fees unless money is recovered on their behalf.

About Levin Law

Levin Law is a premier national securities, cryptocurrency, and class action law firm.  Brian Levin, Levin Law’s managing attorney, has obtained settlements and recoveries over $100,000,000 in assets through arbitration and litigation for individual and institutional investors throughout the country and the rest of the world. Levin Law represents retirees, individual investors, high-net-worth investors, ultra-high-net-worth investors, institutions, family offices, trusts, publicly held companies, and others.