According to police reports, a 21 year old man from Manhattan called Nicholas Truglia hacked into the mobile devices of some Silicon Valley bigwigs in an attempt to steal cryptocurrencies. After several attempts, he was able to successfully steal the coins. According to his Facebook page, Truglia is a Harvard University student. He targeted the bigwigs of Bay Area from his apartment at West 42nd Street. Part of the report was as follows:
“This is a new way of committing an old crime. It is a pervasive issue that involves millions”.
Crypto-jacking Has Become A Problem
Truglia allegedly stole up to $1 million cash from Robert Ross, a father of two based in San Francisco. According to the reports, the attack was launched on the 26th of October. Ross’s phone went dark and $500,000 left his cryptocurrency account in two installments. One was stolen from Coinbase and the other from Gemini. According to west, this was the college fund he has been saving for his daughters. It was all the savings he had.
After stealing the money, Truglia converted it to cryptocurrencies and put it in his personal account. He also attacked many others including the CEO of blockchain-based storage service OChain, Saswata Basu, Myles Danielson, a well-known hedge funder, and about three others. Even if he was unable to steal any Bitcoin from his other victims, he took over their phones for a while. West continued:
“Imagine a situation where you’re sitting in your home with your phone in front of you and you suddenly discover that you no longer have control of the device. Your service bar disappears because the hacker has full control of the device.”
West, is an active member of the Santa Clara REACT force that holds offenders accountable for SIM-swapping cases on a national level. The team is made up of federal agents who went to arrest Truglia in his apartment on the 14th of November. West said that the federal agents found a cryptocurrency hardware wallet from which they recovered about $300,000 of the stolen funds.
Currently, Truglia is at the Manhattan Detention Complex awaiting extradition to Santa Clara Calif. There, he will face 21 felony counts in total. His hacking spree which started on the 8th of October has come to an end. His charges will include unauthorized use of personal information, grand theft, altering & damaging computer data in a bid to defraud, among others.
While Truglia is the only one who has been arrested, the authorities believe he may have been working with a crew made up of other hackers. West added:
“Hackers should known that we don’t care where they are located. Even if we are based in Silicon Valley, we have national jurisdiction”.
This isn’t the first time Truglia’s name is appearing in the news. In September, he reported four of his friends to the cops for trying to steal his thumb drive that was linked to an account with $1.2 million in Bitcoin. At the time, Truglia said:
“It’s not uncommon for people with large amounts of cryptocurrencies to be targeted by hackers”.