If you ask Yuki why he helped create a channel on Telegram to facilitate the settling of accounts in the mobile hacking community, he says it’s about supply and demand. Lots of young SIM card users were looking for a way to fight back against enemies in the real world.
SIM swapping at its most basic level entails someone hijacking your mobile phone. They replace your SIM card and all the information on it with their SIM – that way they can access your passwords, emails, and two-factor authentication codes that protect bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets. SIM swaps were draining those accounts and stealing millions.
Big money has given rise to something even more alarming – a new phenomenon known as violence as a service. It has become the accepted way of clearing accounts in the SIM Swapper community. They tell us that defacing or defacing websites just doesn’t send enough messages. So they’re throwing Molotov cocktails or cutting tires in the real world instead.
Detective David Hale of Westown East Gassan Police Department investigated an apparent incident of violence-as-a-service in January in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in which someone opened fire on a house. No one is hurt. According to a criminal complaint first reported by Crepes on securityPatrick McGovern Allen, 21, is involved.
Violence as a service is the next iteration of something that became a common tactic of harassment among teens a decade ago: spanking. young children He will call the emergency services and having the police send SWAT teams to someone’s house, People have been killed.
The concern is that service violence will do the same. “I think it’s fair to say it’s a problem and it’s not going away any time soon,” Detective Hill told Click Here.
To try to better understand this phenomenon, we spoke with Yuki, a SIM exchanger who created the Telegram channel to try to make it easier to swap out this SIM over the violence of a real-world SIM exchanger. His group, called BRICKSQUAD, started in August and offers a sort of match.com for violence.
One ad asks if anyone can be in Sydney’s Hyde Park: “Anyone could be here on September 8 at midday and want to make a thousand dollars…a DM for me.” Another, in Houston, Florida: “Would you like to open a window for $500…let me know.”
The Click Here podcast interviewed Yuki and a number of other SIM swappers on tape for this week’s episode. We’ve verified Yuki’s identity in several ways. Listed as the owner of BRICKSQUAD’s encrypted Telegram channel and his voice in a violent video for the service, it matches the voice of Yuki we interviewed.
We spoke with him about the world of SIM swapping, why violence as a service is growing in popularity and the concern that violence in the SIM swap community will eventually find its way into the wider world. When we asked them if they had any remorse for this kind of violence they said no, “This is just business. If you steal the money, there are consequences.” The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Click here: Can you explain how SIM swapping works?
Yuki: Now, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is go to whatever carrier they use, try to socialize them to reset the email, call their ISP and get into the email, and find whatever you can find.
Then, what you want to do is make sure you have the carrier-specific tools like admin login so they can do the activation. It’s like a three-man job, basically. You’d have a guy doing the social engineering, someone with a SIM on the phone, and then someone actually doing the activation. Then after you get the phone number, you will be able to access all the cryptocurrency wallets like Coinbase, Binances, and whatever.
You will never swap a SIM with someone without money. First you have to check for a Coinbase or Binance email link. Sometimes it happens and you get into an account with zero balance.
CH: The people on the receiving end of the SIM swap are usually those who own Bitcoin or Ethereum or have some kind of cryptocurrency?
s: yes. This is what you really strive for. It is not so much their information as it is their cryptocurrency.
Chris: And now many SIM exchangers are after each other. Is “real life” violence something relatively new in SIM swapping?
s: Yes, people have only been doing it for about the past year or so, and no one has really made a business out of it, like a proper one. They just do it like a weird job.
Chris: And do you regret all of this?
s: Lots of business. If you are a scammer, there is a good chance that Molotov cocktails will be thrown at your house or maybe your house will be shot. If you want to steal someone’s money, there are a lot of consequences to that. If you want to cheat someone for a thousand dollars, the person you are defrauding may spend a thousand dollars to throw a stone on your house. All this work.
Chris: Who is paying you to do that and who are you targeting with these jobs?
s: They are all the same people, they are all SIM card users, like-minded people. They pay us to do it and they are also the targets.
Chris: Is it right to think of the SIM swap community as being on the younger side?
s: This is very accurate. Lots of SIM swaps are actually like 13 to 18.
CA: So is most of this violence directed at teens?
s: Oh very beautiful.
Chris: And a few months ago, I co-founded the Telegram channel that promotes these violent services at IRL. Talk to me about the BRICS team.
s: I started it as a side project and it’s more like a supply-to-demand kind of thing. You know, like people [in the SIM swapping community] They really want to get back to their online enemies. BRICSQUADS are the front lines. This is where most major crimes happen.
Chris: Give me some examples of the kind of violence as a service that BrixQuad does.
Yuki: You can order a person to be deprived, which means that a stone is thrown into his house. We also have people offering to throw a Molotov cocktail at a house. It’s very basic, but people do it and get paid.
Chris: And what does something like that cost?
s: People pay about $1,000 for bricks. Typically, the starting price for buying a home is $5,000. If you really want someone to be killed or kidnapped, it will lead to more.
Chris: And do you or your team do the actual work or do you just say, “Hey, we have a job,” and act as a moderator?
s: No, we do both. Sometimes we power people out, which means you can get others to do it and you get paid for it. Or you can do it yourself if you are in the area. The squad does more serious things, like shooting, stealing, and even killing.
Chris: Can you give me an example of a modern brick?
s: Yes, the last person I had was pinched a few days ago. They were lying about getting T-Mobile gadgets and tried to charge me a thousand dollars for activation. So I actually went to one of their ex-girlfriends and was like, Do you have any info on this guy? She gave me all of his information, so it was hacked.
CH: Did you film that?
s: No comment. (Pause) All right. I did not do that. Therefore, I did not shoot it, but there was a person who was deprived and it was because of me.
CH: Was there a video?
s: There is a video.
Chris: When people request these services, do they tell you why, or are there no questions asked?
s: Usually, you already know why because the SIM swap community is already talking about it. But there are times when you find a random guy who just wants someone to ruin it and then no questions are asked. I will get it done.
Chris: And are you venturing out of that community, like bringing in someone who isn’t a SIM exchanger or isn’t in the online community?
s: It sure bleeds into other communities, much like the regular communities on Discord I’ve heard about making people bluff and throw Molotov cocktails, but no one really knows who’s doing it.
We have also hit some corporate employees for intimidation tactics.
CH: Like the phone company?
s: Yes, a phone company.
Chris: So, someone on the fringes of society, but not directly involved?
s: Yes, exactly.
Chris: What do you do to protect yourself from getting in trouble?
s: Well, the first step is not to reveal a lot of your information, like where you live. This may result in people reporting you to the police. Step 2: Always use protection, such as a VPN or even a local proxy. The third step is that you always want to make sure that you never give out your phone number or anything like that.
In the SIM swap community, after a phone number is leaked, people will exchange SIM just for fun because they have the tools.
I’ll tell you, I don’t actually have a phone.
CH: Is that because you know how easy it is to swap a SIM?
s: No comment.
CH: So, recently a SIM exchanger named Patrick McGovern-Allen was arrested for taking part in A pair of acts of violence as a service. He went by the internet nickname, “tongue”. Have you considered shutting down the BRICS team due to the extra attention caused by Patrick’s arrest?
s: I did, but instead we just launched a website for our services. I realized there was nothing to worry about. You can be reckless and safe at the same time. So I just thought about it, you know, I decided I was going to go for it.
CH: Do you have a plan for when you don’t do this anymore, is there a certain amount of money you’re going to get?
s: I’m thinking about $100 million, and I have a long way to go. That’s at least a few more years.
CA: Do you think violence as a service is a short-lived thing?
s: I think it will grow even more. I think a lot of it will grow out of society into more political and government officials. She will surely get into it eventually. Lots of people have contacts with government officials now in the SIM swap community to get all their info and then blackmail them for authentication codes, logins, and stuff.
Sometimes they can’t swap the SIM card. Therefore, they go to the last resort, which is to blackmail them. And if they don’t go through with it, they’ll shoot the house, I think.
CH: Have you seen that actually happen or do you think this is where you’re headed?
s: This is just my guess, you know?