According to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, New York, a 15-year-old hacker and his friends are accused of stealing cryptocurrencies from multiple victims. According to Michael Terpin, the plaintiff, his smartphone was compromised in 2018 by a group of malicious hackers led by teenager Ellis Pinsky.
Terpin, the founder and CEO of Transform Group, a blockchain technology advisory firm, has allegedly sued Pinksy and his accomplices for $71 million USD in damages. The cryptocurrency investor requested triple damages allowed under a federal organized crime law in New York.
“Pinsky and his colleagues are in fact malicious computer geniuses with sociopathic traits who did not think twice about ruining the lives of their innocent victims and cheerfully boasting about their multimillion-dollar thefts,” the plaintiff said before the court.
Terpin believes that these hackers specifically search for users with large amounts in cryptocurrencies, and claims that the young defendants have found a way to illegally access victims’ devices to intercept messages and authentication codes to gain access to their resources.
Apparently, the young hackers were able to gain control of their victims’ smartphones through a technique known as “SIM swap”. In fact, the plaintiff also decided to take legal proceedings against AT&T, his telephone operator for its few security measures.
According to a cybersecurity firm, Pinksy’s operation was not as covert as other hackers do, as the lawsuit implicitly mentions that Pinksy is widely known for flaunting his success in the world of hacking and theft of funds, even since he was 13. The lawsuit mentions that the hacker has managed to steal “more than $100 million in cryptocurrencies” since its operations began.
The stolen funds would have been hidden inside Pinsky’s room. Terpin tried to contact Pinksy to try to find out his degree of involvement in the alleged robbery, although, according to the report, Pinksy had just sent him a certain amount of “cryptocurrency, cash and a combined clock of two million dollars”.
While Pinksy’s response does not directly link him to the crime, Terpin believes his response was enough to be considered an admission of guilt. Terpin also implicated Nicholas Truglia for helping Pinksy. Truglia has been sued for theft before and is currently facing unrelated charges. As a result, the investor was able to win a $75.8 million default against Truglia in 2019.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.