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Hackers, Phone Carriers Charged for SIM-hacking Scam

The alleged hackers face several fraud and identity theft charges, while the phone company employees have been charged with wire fraud and each could face decades in prison if convicted

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In an alleged SIM-hacking scam in the US, a group of nine people have been charged for stealing cryptocurrencies from people and earning a total of $2.4 million by bribing or tricking mobile phone carriers into transferring a phone number into a new SIM card.

In an unsealed indictment, prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan claimed that six of the people, living across the US and Ireland, were members of a group called “The Community”, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Usually, such cyber-fraud cases involve taking control of a victim’s cryptocurrency wallet, giving a hacker access to the funds and “The Community” allegedly used this technique seven times to steal cryptocurrency.

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The hackers, whose identity is still unknown whether they are an independent group or nation-state actors, used public exploits, indicating that “many of the websites they hit weren’t up-to-date and had outdated plugins”. Pixabay

In a separate complaint, prosecutors have also charged three undisclosed mobile phone company operators with accepting bribes as part of the crime, the report said.

With access to the phone numbers, scammers were able to bypass security measures like two-factor authentication, that gave them control over the linked accounts of the victims.

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The alleged hackers face several fraud and identity theft charges, while the phone company employees have been charged with wire fraud and each could face decades in prison if convicted, the report noted. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Microsoft to Pay Hackers for Bug Bounty Programme

Microsoft recently launched Chromium-based Edge beta for Windows 10, 7, 8/8.1 and macOS

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Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Microsoft has launched a Bug Bounty Programme for Chromium Edge where the company is inviting cybersecurity experts across the world to identify vulnerabilities in the Chromium Edge browser, with rewards ranging from $1,000 to $30,000.

The company is offering rewards in various tiers. Spoofing and tampering reports would earn anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. Information disclosure and remote code execution will be awarded between $1,000 and $10,000 and elevation of privilege will rake in between $5,000 to $15,000, Digital Trends reported on Sunday.

As per the report, $30,000 will be given in exchange for finding a combination of an Elevation of Privilege flaw and a Windows Defender Application Guard container escape.

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“We are excited to expand our bounty programmes today to include the next version of Microsoft Edge and continue to grow and strengthen our partnership with the security research community.

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“We welcome researchers to seek out and disclose any high-impact vulnerabilities they may find in the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on Chromium, and offer rewards up to the US $30,000 for eligible vulnerabilities in Dev and Beta channels,” Jarek Stanley, senior program manager at Microsoft, said in a post.

Microsoft recently launched Chromium-based Edge beta for Windows 10, 7, 8/8.1 and macOS. (IANS)