- Three Call of Duty players have been arrested for stealing $3.3 million in crypto
- They used the threat of SWATing to intimidate another user into giving up information
- The remotely accessed users’ wallets and routed funds to their own wallets
There is a significant overlap between online gamers and crypto enthusiasts. However, this overlap seems to have bred some illegal activities as a group of ‘Call of Duty’ players turned hackers have been arrested after convincing an Illinois man to assist them in remotely hacking into unsecured cryptocurrency wallets.
Threatening to SWAT victims
The wallets in question were on over 100 mobile phones. The arrest came after the Illinois man reported the plan to the police himself. He explained that while playing CoD, a group of would-be thieves contacted him and intimidated him with SWATing.
SWATing is somewhat commonplace by the malicious practice of reporting another individual to the authorities with false claims of a violent crime taking place in their home.
This results in a SWAT team raiding the home and in some cases, making use of gunfire to subdue home owners. This practice is done as a prank, in retaliation against opponents or as a threat. SWATing has led to injury and even the death of victims in the past.
The criminals threatened further SWATing incidents against the man and this led him to give up valuable information such as names and phone numbers that would allow them to remotely hack their victims’ wallets.
The man alleged that he passed over information for over 100 cell phones to the hackers who were able to steal $3.3 million in various cryptocurrencies. The hackers used various digital platforms in order to move the funds to their own cryptocurrency wallets.
The Bloomington man has, so far, claimed that he is innocent of the charges.
“I have done nothing but cooperate with Augur and the FBI,” he said. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.”
Cryptocrime on the rise
According to reports, the total amount of cryptocurrency stolen in 2018 has surpassed $1 Billion.
According to Rick McElroy, security strategist at Carbon Black, the ease of technology use aids this sort of crime.
“It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware… It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands.”
By making use of CoD to intimidate their victim, the criminals were afforded a certain level of privacy which made the act easier.