Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Avanti Financial, is asking crypto users and others to testify in support of a piece of legislation which could help stop SIM swap attacks.
In a tweet posted today, Long requested that any of her 70,500 followers who had been the victim of a SIM swap testify for the Wyoming legislature on Dec. 16. According to the Wyoming State Legislature website, the Avanti CEO will join members of the Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology and Digital Innovation Technology online to discuss the issue of SIM swaps. Also in attendance will be Joel Revill, the CEO of Wyoming-based firm Two Ocean Trust, which recently received regulatory approval to custody digital assets.
HEY PEEPS–#Wyoming legislature is considering a law requiring telcos to increase IT security to stop #SIMswap scams. DC lobbyists of telcos are trying to quash it but Wyoming is standing up to ’em.If you’ve been SIM swapped & are willing to testify on Dec 16, pls message me
— Caitlin Long (@CaitlinLong_) December 3, 2020
According to the legislature’s website, bill HBO204, entitled SIM card identity protection, died in committee but has since been returned to the Wyoming State House pursuant to the rules. The piece of legislation would make it unlawful for telecommunications companies not to “take reasonable actions” in preventing SIM swaps.
Long told Cointelegraph that lobbyists for telecommunications companies had “killed” the SIM swap bill last year, but the committee was working on resurrecting it based on new developments.
“A SIM swap was part of the infamous Twitter hack in July, so this is no longer just an issue affecting the crypto industry,” said Long. “It dovetails nicely with other work that the Select Committee is doing this year on digital identity.”
Several victims of expensive or invasive SIM swap attacks responded to Long on Twitter saying they would be willing to virtually appear at the Wyoming State House.
Adam Pokornicky, chief operating officer at Digital Asset Investment Management, a U.S.-registered investment advisor for digital assets, said he would “100% testify” regarding his experience being hacked in June 2017. The COO reported at the time that his email and financial accounts were compromised following hackers impersonating him with Verizon customer service.
“Irresponsible that telcos haven’t taken any meaningful steps to address this issue and regulators step in,” said Pokornicky.
Natalie Smolenski, an advisor for the Texas Blockchain Council, also stated that she would be willing to speak to the committee regarding her SIM swap experience. She was joined by Brittany Kaiser, a whistleblower for the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal and co-founder of the Own Your Data Foundation, an organization which provides digital literacy training.
One of the costlier SIM swap attacks in the crypto space happened to Michael Terpin, a blockchain and crypto investor who sued AT&T last August after a hacker stole almost $24 million worth of tokens. Terpin has since won $75.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages against 21-year-old hacker Nicholas Truglia, who was arrested in California in 2018 over an unrelated SIM swap attack.