Bittrex exchange sued over SIM attack that led to 100-BTC loss
By Bob Garcia
A user claims the exchange was negligent in not responding fast enough
One of Bittrex’s users has filed a lawsuit against them in a SIM hack lawsuit. The crypto exchange is being sued over a SIM-swapping hack that led criminals to get as much 100 Bitcoin (BTC) from the user’s account. By today’s numbers, that amount would be worth around $1 million. This is not the first time a case like this has been reported, as there have been other high-profile cases of virtual identity theft that led to large amounts of crypto being lifted.
This hack was against an investor name Gregg Bennett, located in Seattle, WA., and which is so far is still waiting for a resolution. Other SIM swaps have had better luck and got a resolution before they even made it to the public. Bennett presented his case in Washington State’s King County Superior Court, claiming that Bittrex missed the chance to stop the hack by ignoring security protocols and standards in the industry. In addition, Bittrex failed to respond in a timely manner on April 15, 2019, when the hack was taking place and didn’t act when he notified them directly immediately after it happened.
The Department of Financial Institutions in WA assigned a financial legal examiner to review the incident and the individual sided with Bennett. He concluded that Bittrex did not follow the proper steps to respond to their customer. According to a letter Bennett provided to CoinDesk, dated August 30, Bittrex appears to have infringed their own terms or service. To date, it’s still unknown the location of the lost BTC lost, and, even though the notification was sent out to several legal entities, no criminal charges have been announced.
Bennet informed Bittrex of his suspicions about the hack being originated internally, an event involving the phone company, given the fact that his PIN number for the phone was changed, along with his Social Security Number. This may be a direct implication from AT&T, according to Bennett. His case focuses solely on the security breach at Bittrex; however, he is not yet discarding to leave the door open to also sue AT&T, stating that they “will not escape my wrath,” he said.
Bittrex did not want to give any communication regarding that lawsuit in particular. Bill Shihara, CEO of Bittrex, did speak with CoinDesk about other SIM hacks. He declared the security they have is powerful, including two-factor authentication features, along with an automated email notification when a new IP address is attempting to log into the account. However, he asserts that it is ultimately up to the individual to take precautions to secure their devices.