Crypto exchange Bittrex is being sued over a SIM swap that netted criminals 100 bitcoin, currently worth nearly $1 million.
The case resembles other recent high-profile heists in which a hacker seizes control of a victim’s cell phone to then loot online crypto accounts: the swap was from cellular carrier AT&T, money was taken from Bittrex, and the hack took control over the victim’s online identity.
In this case, Bennett filed suit in Washington state’s King County Superior Court, alleging that Bittrex violated its own published security protocols and ignored industry standards, missing the chance to stop the high-stakes burglary. He also alleged that Bittrex failed to act as the April 15, 2019 hack was in process or respond quickly enough once notified by him directly.
The financial legal examiner for the Washington state regulator handling consumer complaints, the Department of Financial Institutions, concluded that Bittrex did not “take reasonable steps to respond” to Bennett’s notice and “appears” to have violated its own terms of service, in a signed letter dated Aug. 30, 2019 provided to CoinDesk by Bennett.
Though various legal entities were notified of the hack, they have not yet announced any criminal charges in the case, and as such, the whereabouts of Bennett’s bitcoin are unknown.
Bittrex declined to comment specifically about the Bennett hack and the court case.
But CEO Bill Shihara, speaking to CoinDesk about other recent SIM hacks, said the exchange has robust security in place to prevent account breaches,