Hackers face the music

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the sentencing of the last member of an international hacking group indicted for allegedly stealing millions in cryptocurrency as part of a “SIM hijacking” effort.

Missouri-based Garrett Endicott, the sixth and final member of a hacking group known as “The Community,” was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of more than $120,000 for his part in the cryptocurrency scheme.

Huge payout: The scheme, which members of The Community were indicted in connection with in 2019, involved the hackers using “SIM hijacking” to take control of the victim’s phone number and rerouting calls and texts to their own devices. This then enabled the group members to individually steal between $50,000 and $9 million total from victims across the United States through gaining access to email and cryptocurrency accounts on the victims’ phones.

Individual victims of the hijacking effort lost between $2,000 and $5 million.

“The actions of these defendants resulted in the loss of millions of dollars to the victims, some of whom lost their entire retirement savings,” Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a statement Tuesday. “This case should serve as a reminder to all of us to protect our personal and financial information from those who seek to steal it.”

Endicott was given a lighter sentence than other members of The Community who had already stood trial, with Endicott and three others being sentenced in the Eastern District of Michigan.