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Identity thieves hijack cellphone accounts to go after virtual currency

Joby Weeks, a Bitcoin entrepreneur who lost his phone number and about a million dollar’s worth of virtual currency last year, in Arvada, Colo., Aug. 8, 2017. So-called phone porting attacks are exposing a vulnerability that could be exploited against anybody with valuable emails or other digital files. “Everybody I know in the cryptocurrency space has gotten their phone number stolen,” Weeks said. (Matthew Staver/The New York Times)

Hackers have been calling up wireless carriers and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers. They can then reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup.

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