Hackers Swapping SIM Cards to Steal Information

At wireless carriers such as AT&T Inc. and South Africa’s Vodacom Group Ltd., a new hacking threat has emerged involving the illicit swapping of SIM cards, the plastic chips that authenticate customers on mobile networks. Criminals call users and impersonate the companies to glean personal information, which they use to hijack the chips and customer accounts, paving the way for online banking fraud and international calling theft. The scam represents a growing threat to the global telecommunications industry, which is projected to lose $46.3 billion to fraud in 2013, or about 2 percent of total revenue, according to the Communications Fraud Control Association.