SIM swappers hit Manifold Trading, Rug Radio founders ahead of holidays


SIM-swap attacks have ramped up in the week leading to Christmas, with the founders of Manifold Trading, Rug Radio and other crypto influencers being hit with attacks in the last 48 hours — some of whom lost control of their accounts on X (formerly Twitter).

On Dec. 22, a SIM-swap hacker managed to take control of the official X account of Manifold Trading, along with its founding partner Jae Chung, posting a series of malicious links to crypto drainers.

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Chung confirmed to Cointelegraph that the hack was due to a SIM-swap attack despite the account being protected by an email address and password. Chung said that only his and Manifold’s Twitter was compromised and assured anything “fund-sensitive” was safe. He added that steps were being taken to rescue the accounts and restore normal functionality.

On Dec. 21, Farokh, the pseudonymous founder of Rug Radio, also fell victim to a SIM-swap attack but reassured his followers that the phone number was not linked to his Twitter account. Rug Radio recently announced a merger with crypto publication Decrypt on Dec. 10.

A SIM-swap hack is a specific type of fraud where attackers take over a victim’s phone number, which grants them access to bank accounts, credit cards and crypto-related accounts that rely solely on SMS verification.

The best way to avoid a potential SIM-swap attack is to ensure that any two-factor authentication is not linked to a mobile number.

Related: Security audits ‘not enough’ as losses reach $1.5B in 2023, security professional says

In an Aug. 23 post on X, Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT urged users of crypto apps to use an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator, which removes the vulnerability of having one’s telecommunication data stolen.

He added that in the four months preceding August, hackers had managed to steal more than $13.3 million from 54 high-profile figures.

The recent slew of exploits reflects a growing trend of attackers targeting crypto-related projects and users.

On Oct. 4, several users of the social finance platform took to Twitter to share that they’d fallen victim to a SIM-swap exploit.

Pseudonymous user “froggie.eth” warned their account was accessed through a SIM swap. Attackers then accessed his account and drained more than 20 Ether (ETH) — worth roughly $44,000 at the time.

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