Cyber Crime Junkies

Violence-for-hire: Online Gamers Cross the Line

November 03, 2023 Cyber Crime Junkies-David Mauro Season 3 Episode 15
Violence-for-hire: Online Gamers Cross the Line
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Cyber Crime Junkies
Violence-for-hire: Online Gamers Cross the Line
Nov 03, 2023 Season 3 Episode 15
Cyber Crime Junkies-David Mauro

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Shocking new stories you won’t believe. We cover behind-the-scenes of some new-breaking stories including Swatting, SIM Swaps, Crypto thefts, and Dark Web Violence-For-Hire. See how to protect yourself today with top security tips we all want to know.

 

Topics: violence-for-hire online dangers, violence-for-hire online, violence for hire online, new violence for sale online, how online gamers cross line, online gamers cross the line, when online gamers cross the line, when online gamers break the law, how online gamers break the law, sim swapping hacking, selling violence-for-hire, online forums sell violence, violence for hire, how violence for hire is done online, latest violence for hire online, latest ways violence is for hire online, how violence is or hire online, why violence is now for hire online, streamer violence, sim swap attacks and online violence, sim swaps and violent trends online, violence from online hackers

 

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Show Notes Transcript

NEW! Text Us Direct Here!

Shocking new stories you won’t believe. We cover behind-the-scenes of some new-breaking stories including Swatting, SIM Swaps, Crypto thefts, and Dark Web Violence-For-Hire. See how to protect yourself today with top security tips we all want to know.

 

Topics: violence-for-hire online dangers, violence-for-hire online, violence for hire online, new violence for sale online, how online gamers cross line, online gamers cross the line, when online gamers cross the line, when online gamers break the law, how online gamers break the law, sim swapping hacking, selling violence-for-hire, online forums sell violence, violence for hire, how violence for hire is done online, latest violence for hire online, latest ways violence is for hire online, how violence is or hire online, why violence is now for hire online, streamer violence, sim swap attacks and online violence, sim swaps and violent trends online, violence from online hackers

 

Don’t miss the Video:

 

Audio podcast available everywhere and at our site: https://cybercrimejunkies.com

 

Click the link above and leave your message!

You can now text our Podcast Studio direct. Ask questions, suggest guests and stories. 

We Look Forward To Hearing From You!




Custom handmade Women's Clothing, Plushies & Accessories at Blushingintrovert.com. Portions of your purchase go to Mental Health Awareness efforts.

🎧 Subscribe now http://www.youtube.com/@cybercrimejunkiespodcast and never miss an episode!

Follow Us:
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Want to help us out? Leave us a 5-Star review on Apple Podcast Reviews.
Listen to Our Podcast:
🎙️ Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cyber-crime-junkies/id1633932941
🎙️ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5y4U2v51gztlenr8TJ2LJs?si=537680ec262545b3
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Join the Conversation: 💬 Leave your comments and questions. TEXT THE LINK ABOVE . We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for future episodes!

Violence-for-hire: Online Gamers Cross the Line

Don't Miss the Shocking Video: https://youtu.be/z8ROySsXPrQ

 

Shocking new stories you won’t believe. We cover behind-the-scenes of some new-breaking stories including Swatting, SIM Swaps, Crypto thefts, and Dark Web Violence-For-Hire. See how to protect yourself today with top security tips we all want to know.

 

Topics: violence-for-hire online dangers, violence-for-hire online, violence for hire online, new violence for sale online, how online gamers cross line, online gamers cross the line, when online gamers cross the line, when online gamers break the law, how online gamers break the law, sim swapping hacking, selling violence-for-hire, online forums sell violence, violence for hire, how violence for hire is done online, latest violence for hire online, latest ways violence is for hire online, how violence is or hire online, why violence is now for hire online, streamer violence, sim swap attacks and online violence, sim swaps and violent trends online, violence from online hackers

[00:00:00] Welcome everybody to Cybercrime Junkies. I am your host, David Mauro. In the studio today is co-host Mark Mosher. Mark, how are you, man? I'm doing wonderful, David. So we've, we've got a really impactful, really intriguing series of events and stories to walk through in today's episode. So today we're gonna talk about some recent technology news and events that have simply crossed the line.

Now, when I say crossed the line, I mean morally, philosophically. And legally, so today's true Krier SI story will involve real stories where kids get involved leveraging the dark web, where their actions cross the line, not only to become criminal, but enter our physical world and cause millions of dollars of damages and physical harm, including homicide.

Another reason we're bringing this to your attention as these stories seem to get lost in the sea of general news media, that many of [00:01:00] the cybersecurity fields still report on and look at nationally and across the globe, but it seems to get lost in the general stories. So for podcast listeners, we really wanna talk about these series, and we're gonna talk about a whole host of true cybercrime stories.

Today we're gonna talk about. A a, a new emerging threat that we all have to face now, like there isn't enough and it's violence as a service. It's available right now on the dark web. We're gonna talk about swatting, which is a big issue for law enforcement. We're gonna talk about sim swapping. We're gonna talk about a true crime story of Baby Al Capone, Ellis Penske.

We're gonna talk about, Mr. Trulia. That helped out Mr. Penske to amass a huge fortune through a sim swapping scheme that we're gonna talk about. Then we're gonna go along the story of Patrick McGovern Allen, and then the Wichita Swatting Deadly Shooting. So [00:02:00] those are the things we're gonna cover right now, so let's kind of get right into it.

Lucky to work for a great group of people you really believe in. Find yourself making an impact. Technology is a river that flows through every aspect of an organization, and today is different. We put ourselves and our organizations literally at risk of complete destruction every single time we get online.

One click, one Distraction is all it takes. Hi, Cyber Crime Junkies. This is your host, David Mauro, along with co-host Mark Moser. Come join us as we explore our research into these blockbuster true crime stories, along with interviews of leaders who've built and protect great brands.

David, he said violent. What, what, what is that? What did our researchers find around violence as a service? Yeah. So in a leading security article from recent, like September 4th, [00:03:00] 2022, Krebs on security, who's the best of the best, really does a lot of great research. We, we lean on his findings a lot.

In the article, they, they talk about how violence as a service is a real and present danger in both the physical and the digital worlds. Especially in the United States today. You know, we're, we're gonna talk about. The research found there. And then our other research the discussions we had with people in law enforcement as well as other findings and, and and research.

There is a multimillion dollar crime that led to indictments and jailing and a $75 million lawsuit that is still pending today that involved a 15 year old boy in New Jersey, who was the son of a physician in an affluent suburb who they call Baby Al Capone. And all this is gonna dovetail into our discussion of swatting sim swapping and how it's actually, unfortunately led to several deaths.

A lot of this stems from the [00:04:00] online gaming community. And so many kids are involved in gaming, right? And the online community. And they, they feel safe. They feel secure when they're, when, when they're gaming, cuz they're in their bedrooms mostly, right? They're in their apartments. They, they, they feel safe and man, It's not, and most parents just don't really have a view or a window into that world.

You know, when, when kids are gaming, mark and, and, and they're online, they're talking to people all over the world, and it's an aggressive, testosterone filled, toxic environment and you know who's not in that world, you know, who's not listening in, you know, who's not monitoring any of that. Parents.

Parents, right, right. The parents aren't law enforcement isn't counselors student resource officers. None of them are involved. And that's the, the version of reality that most of these kids have. And it's led to a lot of great things. And don't get me wrong, we love. The gaming [00:05:00] culture. We love eSports.

We love the gaming culture. We love the first, the the first person shooter games, the platforms, the design, the coding behind it. All of it's fantastic, but there are some side effects to the culture, and that's what we're talking about today. So we've talked about some of this before on, on previous episodes about the dark web, right?

Mm-hmm. And how some of this, that same toxicity and some of that same violence occurs there. So, You know, I, I wanted to maybe just take a second and people that are maybe familiar with the term dark web. Yeah, but don't really understand what it is and just kind of explain what that looks like. Just real quick, if I may.

Yeah, no, please do. I I was just about to ask you, because what happens is, is while they're gaming, they're talking on discord and, and, and, and other platforms, right. Maybe Snapchat, telegram, and Yep. Telegram, like, oh, there's all these, and, and a lot of these work like Snapchat, meaning the conversations disappear after a little bit, but it also is leading to conversations on the dark web.

Where they [00:06:00] download the tour browser or they otherwise access the dark web. So tell people what that means. Martha. Let's walk us through. So it's, it's really quite simple in, in concept. If you think of all the websites that we know, you know, Yahoo, Google, Bing, I guess it's still out there of C Nnn, the Weather Channel, Macy's, PayPal, whatever it is, that's the surface web.

And if you think of and can picture an iceberg. Right, like the top of it, it looks immense. It looks huge, but as soon as you go below that level of the surface, the surface web, you really see how big things are. That's how Surface part that we know of is about 5% of the, the actual web. Those are all the index documented in catalog websites that we can get to, right?

You type in something in Google and look at the hundreds of thousands of returns that you get to other listed websites. Now when you get below the surface to the deep web, that's a good portion of the actual web, and that's not nefarious in nature. That could be, they're not index or [00:07:00] cataloged because maybe they're pay for view type things.

Maybe they're college research papers. Maybe it's medical findings. Maybe it's legal case studies. In subject matter that only certain people have not necessarily a bad place. Now, if you imagine, you go, so what you're saying, so I didn't mean to interrupt you, buddy. No, no. What you're saying is the majority of us, when we're on the internet, we're on Amazon, we're on Google, we're getting the news, watching sports, doing stuff like that online, Netflix, stuff like that.

That's not, that's like 4% of the internet, right? Right. All of that, all of that entertainment, all of that consumption, all social media, all of that is for just a sliver of what's actually out there, not even 5% of the actual web. Wow. So below, below the dark web or below the the deep web is the dark web.

And if you can picture at the end of that, that iceberg, that deep, dark, cold place, that's the dark web. Now this is a really, really bad [00:08:00] place. You can't get there with a regular browser, but you can download one for free. That'll take you right there, suggest that you do that in any way, shape, or form.

But this is, think of it as an open air market. There are no index. There are no catalog. You can't search for these sites. You have to know how to get to 'em. But when you do think of them, and it's like an open air market, like a street bazaar where everything is for sale, and I mean literally everything from drugs to, to weapons.

One of our dark web researchers actually said that there was a Russian tank for sale that had been captured over in the Ukraine, was now sitting in Poland for sale. I know, I remember that. Drugs, weapons, but, and you can find all this, there's, once you get to the dark web and you install these browsers you can search for Oh yeah, yeah.

You can find all these places. Some people may be familiar with, you know, all that crazy stuff. The infamous Silk Road was one of the early pioneers for these, these open air markets. In bazaars, you can trade the murder for hire human trafficking. I mean, think of the worst it all takes [00:09:00] place is on the dark web.

Unbelievable. So in these forums, in these, you know, we're on the dark web and you're in these forums and they use communication platforms that are encrypted and, and, and, you know, anonymous, right? So people seek out certain acts, right? Whether it's to create ransomware, malware to bribe or extort people in the real world, right, to take over their phones.

And to, to, to get codes and to engage in this process that we're gonna talk about today. And that's called sim swapping. So can you walk us through, mark, kind of what sim swapping means? What, what, what is it? What is sim? What is Sure. What, yeah. And, and everybody's familiar with the, the sim card that's in your phone, right?

So sim swap is basically, it's a little white, it's like the little plastic thing. That's right. Right. It's about the sides of your thumbnail, right? Yep. It's also known as port out scam. It's also known as sim splitting [00:10:00] smishing sim jacking. But what it, what it is, it's quite simply, it's just a fraudulent way of bad people gaining access to someone's mobile number.

And it just simply happens when a criminal convinces your cell phone provider to transfer your phone number to a different sim card. Wow. Yeah. And it can al Yeah. And so it can happen when they, when they bribe somebody that works for like at and t or Verizon or something like that. Right, right. So you, you get a worker and it's just like when we get a new phone, right?

We get a new phone, we go to the store and they turn off our old phone, and then all of a sudden the new phone lights up and it has all of our contact info. And now our new, our number now works on that new phone. That's an actual sim swap, right? That's a legitimate one, right? Yeah. Okay. So that's what we're talking about.

And what happens is they're actually able to bribe, cuz as we've talked about in other episodes, the amount of money that is in cyber crime completely eclipses [00:11:00] and dwarfs that of the international drug trade or that of the top five major tech firms out there, right? When you think of Google and Apple and Facebook and or Meta and you.

You think of all the money they make, it's nothing compared to the amount of money and power that cyber criminals have, right? And so they leverage that. They bribe an employee or they gain access through social engineering, right? They can send texts to people. We get 'em all the time. We get smishing texts all the time where somebody will, will say, Hey, you won this, or, Hey, can you click this?

Or whatever it is. Right? They're, they're done in a way to get you to click on that. When you click on that, they take control of your phone. Yep. Right? And so then what happens you know, is, is that process is all discussed in these forums on the dark web and in these forums they gather for sim swapping tactics, tips and things like that.

And there's all these. SIM swapping forums on the dark web where they're talking [00:12:00] about it. And what's been making news recently is the amount of high end targets that they've been doing and the damage that it's led to. Because recently it's really crossed the line. It's now become violence as a service.

Yep. So violence actually in the real world, not online. We're not even talking about cyber bullying. We're talking about actually engaging. And, and collaborating to actually harm people in the real world. Well, yeah. There was a recent result, just a, just literally a couple weeks ago. What happened that there was a 21 year old guy in New Jersey that had been arrested and charged with stalking in connection of a federal investigation into a group of cyber criminals.

Who are actually settling scores by hiring people to carry out physical attacks on their rivals. Holy cow. Yeah, so the prosecutors say that this defendant, he recently participated in a couple of these, including firing a gun into a [00:13:00] house in Pennsylvania and torching a residence. By throwing a molinoff cocktail into it.

So this guy, this is all public information. This is what the research showed. His name is Patrick McGovern Allen. He's from Egg Harburg Township in New Jersey. I believe he was just arrested in August 12th just weeks ago. Oh, this year. Holy cow. Yeah, yeah. On a, on a warrant from the fbi. So we actually got to look at the at the FBI complaint, and it alleges that McGovern Allen, he was part of a group.

Who were at the forefront of a dangerous, like escalation into coercion, intimidation tactics used by competing o other cyber criminal groups. So the prosecutor said that, I think it was around January 2nd Had been identified as one of the many co-conspirators, but he was the one that fired the gun into the residence.

Unfortunately, none of the residents were inside the home at the time and no one was injured. But prosecutors say that the assailant actually recorded the, the, the video of proof [00:14:00] that they had carried out so they could get paid. So it's, and that's, that's unbelievable. And, and so, So check this out.

So the video has since been taken down off of YouTube, cuz they had posted it. Oh, is it down now? Yeah. But we, we have a copy. Yeah. And so for our prime members, for our cyber crime junkies that, that have the premium access, we'll actually post the videos.

You ready? Yeah. Justin Active was here.

Justin active was here. Justin was here.

You can light it, light it, fucking light it. Pick it up.[00:15:00] 

You ready? Mm-hmm. Justin Active was here.

Justin active. Justin active was here. Hair puffs, so that you can actually see that as well as the video of this episode, but I'm telling you that it is, it's shock. Right. Like when you and I saw it McGovern Allen, he yelled, he yelled something when he was there. Right. He yelled, they, they fired eight rounds.

They videoed themselves doing this, and they're, and they're talking, it's almost like it's a TikTok challenge for Chrysler. Right? Right. And they, and they walk up to this house and they don't know their lights are out in the house. They don't know that people aren't there. And they fired not once. Not twice.

They fire eight rounds right into the living room of this house. Right. Blasting through the windows and they scream out. Justin Active was here. That's what they scream out. Justin active was here. So we started to do some research cuz they're like, what the heck does that mean? Yeah, what does that even mean?

What does that mean? They recorded themselves and [00:16:00] posted it all over the internet that Justin active was here. So. On December 8th, 2021 police in Abington Township, Pennsylvania responded to reports of a house fire from homeowners who said it sounded like something was thrown at the residence just before the fire.

Weeks later on the day of this shooting that you were just talking about, a detective with the Westtown East Goshen Police Department contacted the Abington Police who shared another video. That was circulating online that appeared to show two individuals using a Molotov cocktail setting fire to that house in Pennsylvania.

The criminal complaint that we reviewed shows what Mark, it shows that the two. That all the investigators agree that it's the same people in both videos. Yep. Yep. So we have a copy of both of those videos. It'll be on our premium access page. You can always see a [00:17:00] link to that in the show notes. If you, if, if you wanna join if not, reach out to us on cybercrime junkies.com.

Right. But we have a copy of that. And in that video it shows two individuals smashing a window. And then it shows them lighting, a rag soaked, mad dog, 2020 grape wine, which you probably remember back from the eighties and nineties. And hurling it at the side of the house. Burning. Burning. It was a Molotov cocktail.

It like caught the whole house on fire. Unbelievable. So the Molotov cocktail. Caused the entire immediate area to ignite, including the siding of the house, all of the grass, and even a wooden chair that was nearby. That's what the the indictment says the complaint. The two suspects then fled on foot down the street and began yelling something when the, just as the video stops.

Yep. So the The victims in this, the, the government mentions only by their initials, they, they mentioned KM and the shooting and [00:18:00] AR and the fire bombing. But said, both had been the target of previous harassment by rival cyber criminal group that included swatting tactics. And I think we're gonna talk a little bit about that maybe later.

Mm-hmm. But the perpetrators distress call to the police about either a hostage situation or a suicide or a bomb threat or a home invasion. With the goal of sending like heavily armed police response to a targeted address. And that's that's a bad result a lot of the times too. Oh, absolutely. And a number of these prior swatting incidents, we're gonna get to 'em just a second.

They've turned deadly because what this is, is, you know, back think 20 years ago when kids used to joke like, oh, I don't wanna take this test. I'm gonna call in a bomb at the school. Right? This is a different level. This is where they are either using deep, fake or burner phones or things and they stay on with the police.

They stay on with dispatch. They stay on with 9 1 1, and they walk them through it and they [00:19:00] say, I am behind this door. I have a gun. I'm gonna do this. Oh my gosh, the person's got there. They create such a realistic scenario that the police, when they're responding, have no reason to believe that this is not real.

Right, and the results have turned deadly. These more, these, this violence as a service, these hands-on and first person attacks are becoming increasingly more common with, especially among certain cyber criminal communities, particularly the same cyber criminal groups that are doing the sim swapping.

Right? And so what the concern is, is obvious, right? Is. Is, what is it gonna lead to next? Right? What are, what are, what are we facing? So the complaint talks about, let's get back into that, trying to figure out who this Justin active person is. Right. So the, the complaint actually mentioned his handle and his user id that he used on Discord, the chat service.

Mm-hmm. And he went by the handle tongue, you know, I don't know what that is, but [00:20:00] in the chats tongue. Tells other Discord users that he was a person who shot again, just the initials of the victim kms house mm-hmm. And was willing to commit fire bombings using a Molin top cocktail. And obviously that that came true.

But the complaint also alleges for example, in one discord March, 2022, that he simply stated, and I, I quote you this, if you need anything done for cash, let me know. I did a shooting motov, but I can also do things for your entertainment end quote. Unbeliev really bad stuff. Yeah. So Krebs on security reviewed hundreds of these chat records tied to this tongue alias, and it appears both attacks were motivated by a desire to get back at rival cyber criminal by attacking the female friends of that rival.

Wow. So recall that the shooters in the West Virginia, Pennsylvania incident shouted, Justin Active was here, right? Right. Justin active, it turns out. Is the nickname of an individual who is just as active in the [00:21:00] same cyber criminal channels, but who has vehemently denied knowledge of her participation in the shooting.

Just an active said on Telegram that the person targeted in the shooting was his ex-girlfriend, and that the fire bombing targeted another friend of his. So they were doing this and taking a video, trying to frame him, saying Justin Active was here. See, Justin activist claimed for months that McGovern Allen was responsible for both attacks, saying that were, they were intended as an an intimidation tactic against him, do the Patrick McGovern Allen raid dance.

People were screaming online that Justin Active's, alias Nutcase 68 was shouting on Telegram just this past August 12th. The same day they finally caught McGovern Allen. So they were celebrating online when they caught the rival. Yeah, that's there. So who do we believe? Do we believe [00:22:00] McGovern Allen or do we believe Justin Active?

I. Well, you know, the, do you think this is all our personal opinions and all of us Yeah. His, his version of the events. We know, again, for the record, for any lawyers involved. Right. Right. All this is alleged, all of this is just, we're just reporting on what we're finding and we're shocked by it. Right.

Because this is something new, just, just an active stated that in, in that video, the reason that he was at the house, mm-hmm. When the shooting took place is because it was his current girlfriend, and that's the reason it happened. Right. That's the reason he was there. But the, the Telegram Channel that they also use, so they're on Discord, they're on Telegram.

The Telegram chat channels that Justin Active and Tongue, both frequented, they have hundreds to thousands of members each. And some of the more interesting solicitations that they had are offer for in-person assignments, tasks that can be found in one said if you live near or ir. I R L Job, I think was the acronym in real life job, right?

They want somebody to go do it in real life is what they're looking [00:23:00] for. Got it. Holy cow. So when they're so like in for those that are able to see the video, you have some You've got some things pinned. Is this from Telegram or is this from some that's from Telegram. Yep. Yeah, so it talks, well, walk us through what, what you're seeing there.

Really the, it's, they're looking for a specific individual. They're giving the town and street that he runs on. They said they need someone to run his house and I run, run through his house or brick it. And I will pay 1500 to 2000. Ah, right. With cryptocurrency. Yeah. So they're looking for people That's back to that in real life, you know, if you live near right, here's a quick 2000.

If you'll go brick, his house. So these are like classified ads almost that are. Advertising for violence as a service, right? Yep, exactly. Perform these bricking where someone is hired to visit a specific address and talk a toss a brick through the target's window. So [00:24:00] yeah, you're right. I see that It says if you live near Edmonton, can Canada DM me needs somebody bricked.

So that that was a telegram message for May 31st, 2022. And then here's another one that will show the listeners that are watching the video if you live near, and then they put the address in in Lakewood, California. Direct message me at, and they put their address paying $3,000 to slash the tires of somebody.

Right. So, you know, and if you, if you live near here and can brick them, DM me as well. Here in Richland Virginia reads the same thing, just the exact same day. That's really, really brutal. Yeah. So there's. There's a lot to take away there, but was involved in, in paying others to commit these, you know, physical acts are frequent participants in several other telegram channels focused singularly on sim swapping activities.

So that seems to be a, that's where the environment is. That's where these guys are getting together in these that are talking about [00:25:00] sim swap. Right? And as, as a result, the vast majority of these people being targeted for bricks and other real life physical assaults. Tend to be other cyber criminals involved in the sim swapping, like they're going after each other now.

Wow. Yeah. And there's, there's dozens of sim swaps, but the thing is most of them are like teenage or 20 something, but they're millionaires from these sim swapping by virtue of having stolen just vast sums of cryptocurrencies from sim swapping victims. And I know, David, you, you. Took personal interest in, in one of those perpetrators the old baby Al Capone.

How do you not wanna, how do you not wanna research? I know you, you went deep, had a rabbit hole on that one. Well, tell us what you found at the end of the rabbit hole. So this is a great story. So this kid, Ellis Penske is a suburban kid in the suburbs outside New, New York, New Jersey, and He's the son of a of a physician, like go relatively affluent area.

Pretty [00:26:00] normal kid plays sports. All of a sudden he is smack daddy, rich, like rich beyond belief, like he's launching private jets. He's throwing lavish parties. He bought a $300,000 car. He is throwing these, these, you know, taking private jets. All over the United States. And it all started back when he was 15 years old from his bedroom.

So here's what happened. At the center of this cybercrime is Michael Turbin, and if you don't know who Michael Turpen is, he's a pioneer. He is world famous. He's a pioneer and uber successful cryptocurrency investor and advisor, right. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Yeah. He's one of the very first guys that made money.

Yeah. In crypto, right? Very well. Re respect respected, has started a lot of excellent businesses. He's a serial entrepreneur. He's recognized as a top five advisor[00:27:00] in blockchain, in cryptocurrency, and one of the top 100 people in blockchain in the world. He's big, he's, he knows what he's doing.

He even moved to Puerto Rico from the United States simply because of their preferential tax. Platform for cryptocurrency income. So now how is, how is he involved in some type of cyber criminal activity or event? What? Well, you know, look, this gets back to our conversations on our other episodes.

Unlike years ago when we had our physical world and we had our digital world, right? Everything we do has a digital component now, everything, right? And if we're able to take, if someone's able to take control, Over our phones for an hour or two, our whole world turns upside down and here's proof. This guy who has the best money can buy, right?

Had it happen him. So let's rewind to [00:28:00] June 11th, 2017. June 11th, 2017, Mr. Turpen discovers that his at and t cell phone right. It's been hacked, right? His phone suddenly goes dead. He can't get texts, he can't get phone calls, he can't make calls. His phone went dead. So he gets in touch with at and t and he finds out a couple days later that his at and t password had been changed remotely after 11 attempts in at and t stores had failed.

So somebody had gone into at and t stores to kind of reset the password and mess with that phone number. So they did enough research to find out what his cell phone number was, and then they went into at t stores and tried to manipulate that way. When that failed, they got it done remotely. So they were trying to do a sim swap?

Is that what they were trying to do? They were trying to take over control of his phone because what's on your phone? [00:29:00] Your email, people keep passwords, right? People, people access from our phones. We're able to access company systems, platforms. Yep. All of that, right? Our banking information. You can control someone's phone and your phone becomes them.

They become you. So if you can become a multi-millionaire for a couple hours and have access to them for a couple hours. Think of what you can do, right? And that's what they did. So this is June 11th, 2017, by obtaining control over Mr. Turin's phone. The hackers at that time diverted his personal information, including all of his telephone calls and text messages to get access to accounts that used telephone numbers as a means.

Of verification for multifactor authentication. So they wanna go and log into his cryptocurrency accounts, his other accounts. Oh, it takes multifactor authentication. Go ahead, send me a text. Go ahead. I've got, I've got Control your phone. Go ahead. Send me that text. Wow. They've got it right [00:30:00] there, right?

The hackers also use the phone to hijack Mr. Turin's Skype account to impersonate him. They were then able to see it steal at that time. This is June 11th, 2017, several hundred thousand dollars worth of cryptocurrency, which again is nont traceable. Once you have the private keys of cryptocurrency, right, you own it.

Wow. You own it. You can't, there's no other trace of it. I've got the private keys. It's my money. Right. It's, it's, it's, it's whoever finds it, whoever has those keys owns it. That's the whole point of cryptocurrency. So, Fast forward then, so that that's what happened after that. Turpen, who's got a lot of power and very bright, he goes, okay, I want special.

I want a special pin. I wanna make sure this never happens again. At and t, you better secure me. They give him this special pin, all of this stuff, right? So it's a pin that only he knows. Okay, fast forward about six months later, not that much, later on January 7th, [00:31:00] 2018. The first one was in June 11th, 2017.

January 7th, 2018. Mr. Turin's phone with at and t. Why he didn't go to a different switch carriers. Right? But, but maybe it, it kind of makes sense to stay because they walked through that. They don't want this to happen, I don't imagine. Right? So, so, because, because it's not good for anybody. And so they gave him special security, they gave him the special pin, all of this.

Well, January 7th, 2018, it happens again. His at and t wireless number goes dead. Oh no. Again, right? Oh my gosh. This time all of his incoming texts and phone calls are sent to a device that the hackers control. Armed with that access, they were able to go through all of his emails, all of his crypto exchange accounts, right?

And they weren't able to see that much or gain access to it until they went through some of the folders and then they found the Holy [00:32:00] Grail. What did they find? All of the private keys for his cryptocurrency. Oh, no. And all while they were doing this, it was like an afternoon that they had control over his phone.

It was it Right. During that time, Michael Turbin and his wife were on the phone with at and t and they're trying to get his phone to work, and they had promised him before they had the top level safeguards on, they have this pin, what's going on? Well, that pin. Wasn't even needed cuz the hackers got around it.

They had bribed a store employee in Connecticut. Oh no. Yep. And with those private keys, the hackers were able to steal his cryptocurrency. Since cryptocurrency fluctuates widely at the time, on this day, January 7th or and eighth of 2018, it was worth guess how much? A couple million. This 18 year old kid who, who takes control.

Over somebody very [00:33:00] big, over somebody's phone for just a few hours. Right? 24 million. Ouch. Ouch. And, and all. And then after that they, they try and cover their tracks. They reset all of his passwords on everything. Right. And they gained exclusive access. So essentially by sim swapping, they controlled his entire digital life.

Mm-hmm. And the hackers were. There's two main ones that are in play. There were a couple others that they found through all the, these chats. They're always kind of hard to decipher, but the, one of the guys was this Nick Trulia, who was like in his twenties. And the main ringleader, the mastermind behind it all was Ellis Pinsky.

All this is alleged. Wait, a the, the 15 year old. Yeah, the 15 year old, that's why they call him Baby Al Capone. So check this out. Over the next year, baby Al Capone starts telling everybody, yeah, I'm trading Bitcoin, I'm trading Bitcoin. [00:34:00] I'm actually really good at trading, buying and selling Bitcoin cuz cryptocurrency.

Fluctuates so high, he spends millions of dollars on custom watches, clothes, really expensive cars. He hires paid escorts. Check out the picture that we're showing for, for, for the viewers of the, of the for the, for the, for the viewers of, of the video. They got pictures of him with parties with like, really expensive champagne.

He's living large, they're throwing, they're, they're renting private jets, going to Vegas, all the stuff. Now, if my kid did that, I'd be like, what are you, what? Like, what are you doing? What's going on? Yeah. Well he was really good. He was very persuasive and he was able to say, look, I'm trading Bitcoin.

Nobody understands. Bitcoin, the average person doesn't understand it, right? And he's able to say, I'm this, you know, he, he was very well liked in school, you know and it's really brought out an ugly side to him. And he is, you know he, he, he really kind of developed this, this reputation. [00:35:00] And it kind of got to him.

He got it, went to his head. He started talking on online and in person. Like, I could buy you, I could do this. Things like that. So, Let's fast forward a little bit. How'd the kid get caught, right? Like how do you Yeah. How do you get caught here? Right. So the truth is, is Baby Al Capone never got caught.

He kind of turned himself in. So and, and, and later on, this was a couple years ago, so as he's turned 18, Michael Turpen waited until he was 18 and sued him. And sued him in civil court because, oh, baby Al Capone actually was never charged with a crime. He's never been charged with this, but he does face a 75, 70 4 million lawsuit from Michael Turpon.

Because he's saying this was part of a criminal conspiracy, similar to like the Ricoh Act that was designed to go after organized [00:36:00] crime. Oh, so he could sue for more than the initial damage? Yeah. Three times Trouble damages. I mean, Rico wasn't even designed to go after that, but it's been used for that.

And Nick Trulia. The 20 something guy. He, he's kind of the reason why all this fell apart of the criminal end. He used to boast about all of his sim swaps, and he lived a lavish lifestyle, and he got busted actually for an unrelated crime. And during that crime, when things came out from that arrest, they found his communications to Baby Al Capone.

Oh, okay. And when Baby Al Capone found out about that, right. They kind of went to the, his parents didn't know. Parents were like, what? And, and, and, and people were like, things are coming out involving your son. He's not a Bitcoin trader. And, and they like went to a lawyer in town and in and or, or in New York, and the lawyer goes, we're, we're going into the, we're going into the feds.

You're gonna turn yourself in, you're gonna give it all back. You're gonna tell 'em everything. Well, part of the problem too is by then, [00:37:00] a lot of it was spent no. And then B and then B, the value, the fluctuation. And the value of it. By the time they got the crypto backed, it wasn't worth as much, is it?

Right? Yep. Stole it. Right. That's how it works. Plus, think of the lost profits that Turpen lost by being able to trade it during the time, during the spikes and thing anyway. Yep. So what happened was is Nick Trulia, who's the guy in the 20 something, he, he was a, a. Arrested on November 14th, 2018 on suspicion of using sim swaps to steal approximately $1 million worth of cryptocurrency from a different Silicon Valley executive.

Oh wow. And in the bond hearing for that crime, evidence of his texts and his social media post came out and we'll show on the video. For those that can see it, he, he would post, he would send tweets out, something like stole 24 million. Still a failure in the eyes of the world. Oh my gosh. Right. Stole 24 million.

Still can't [00:38:00] stop stealing. These are tweets. Yeah, he's not, he's he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Oh my God. Yeah. And were text between him and his father and multiple friends where he brags about 24 million hack that happened on the day of turin's theft. And then he was allegedly offering to take friends to the Super Bowl with porn star escorts.

And he bragged to a friend who is a 25 year old private jet broker named Chris David, who went to his apartment and he could never figure out what this Nick Trulia guy did. He had all this money and he was really kind of, Arrogant and lost. He said he was like, he was, he would sit there and say that he did stuff, but I, I'd show up.

He'd be asleep at two o'clock in the afternoon. I didn't know what he did, but he saw, he physically saw that that Trulia had. The money he had the cryptocurrency he, he had two thumb drives called treasures. T R E Z O R S. And he saw over 40 million crypto. [00:39:00] Yeah, he, he allegedly showed it to him. I don't know if any of that's true.

We're gonna find out. We're gonna just keep following it. But he said, he initially explained that his wealth. Saying that he made the money by mining cryptocurrencies, but they, they say this da, this Chris David gentleman says that later, Trulia later admitted that, that he stole the funds. That's all alleged.

We don't know, but this is what the research is showing. So when all the evidence came out of the communications between Trulia and Baby Al Capone at the center was that Westchester Teen Ellis Penske. And then. Papers were filed May 7th of that year in Manhattan Federal Court by Turpen under the RICO statute for 74 million.

They had waited till he was 18 years old, and they coined Alice Penske as an evil mastermind. Wow. And, and what's shocking like to neighbors and classmates, he went to Irvington High School. He was an ordinary 10th grader who ran track, played soccer, loved cool sneakers, and got good [00:40:00] grades. You know yeah.

He lived in an affluent area, right? The home there was valued at like 1.3 million that his mom was a physician. He used to play first person shooter games, Counterstrike, and Call of Duty. But there was some one thing unusual about him and one of the insiders there the research reports he, he had originally wrote to one of the acquaintances, By, by text on Discord.

I could buy you and your family. I have over a hundred million. Right. And so the lawsuit that's pending today is, is Turin's efforts to get that money back. He believes that Ellis still has access to a lot of that money that he didn't, in fact turn a lot of it over. It's pretty shocking. Wow. And, and all of this is in these chat rooms.

On the dark web. Right. It seems to be the connecting piece. Right. Well, and what else happens is there's a common thread here between that and the [00:41:00] gaming community, where a lot of these guys meet the communications by discord and by telegram and things through the dark web, and there's a direct correlation there between that and swatting.

So, right. What is swatting? Just maybe explain that. Yeah, so yeah, so video games, Tend to be like the gateway to these, to these crimes, right? And the chats on Telegram and discord and through the dark web then have led some that have criminal intent to move the chats over to the dark web. And that's where some of the swatting stories are coming from.

So one of the main swatting stories that's out there, it happened in 2017, happened in Wichita, Kansas. A guy playing Call of Duty Makes a wager for a dollar 50 and unfortunately a innocent bystander, right? Winds up, shot and killed in real life. So here's what happened. [00:42:00] So they were playing Call of Duty.

They're chatting and Call of Duty. You know how they get very like excited and they're swearing at each other, they're doing stuff while they're playing this, this, this, this battle. It's a wager for a buck 50. Well, in Call of Duty, the guy accidentally shoots the wrong target and loses the game. Right? He loses it to this person that uses the username.

Istic, right? Istic. Okay. And so then these guys get involved. And what they, what they do is they want to. SWAT the guy. So what swatting is, it's when you call SWAT on somebody, it's when you call in a false threat on somebody, right? And what happens here is they're talking right online and all of a sudden one of them says, well, what's the weather like in your town?

And the people freak out because you're supposed to be [00:43:00] anonymous, you're online gaming. How do they know where you live? You don't tell them where you live, right? How do they call them cops to his house if, because they're able to run programs, right? You don't know who you're talking to when you get online.

They're able to run programs to detect your IP address and to locate your IP address. Oh, so they were able to find out where the person was. So here's what happened, and, and in this instance, it was really tragic. It happened on December 28th, 2017. It was a fatal swatting incident that occurred in Wichita, Kansas.

So during this online dispute between a gentleman named Casey Weiner and Shane Gaskill, while playing the video game, call of Duty, WW two Weiner threatened to have Catskill swatted. So what is gasket of? He responds by saying, I dare you, and he gives a false address. A false. [00:44:00] Physical address to his house, one that was occupied by a guy named Andrew Finch, who doesn't know these guys.

He's not involved in the online gaming community. He's not involved in playing this game. He doesn't know them. He just lives in Wichita, Kansas. That's it, right? He gives them a random address, and then Vier then gets on the dark web and engages Tyler Baris. This third party right, to make a required fraudulent call to initiate the swatting Wichita Police respond to that address.

Right. And as Tyler Barris is staying on the phone, he, he's not just calling the cops and calling in a fake bomb. Right. What's he doing? Right. He's impersonating. People that are in the house saying, I have a gun. I'm going to shoot the cops as soon as they enter. Oh no. All while. So as the police [00:45:00] respond, oh, and as Andrew Finch, the innocent bystander, who does not know these people, has no idea what's happening.

He opens up his door. He's blown away by police. No, sir. Yeah, because just as he was exiting the house police officer Justin Rapp fatally shoots him. He dies, man. All overall dollar 50. A dollar 50 pad wager. Yeah. So they eventually tracked them down due to their bragging about the swatting event. They ultimately arrest them both.

But Andrew Finch Fincher loses his life, right? He had no involvement in any of this complete innocent bystander whose just random address was given In this letter May, and this, I mean, look. This could have happened to any one of us. Any, right? Right. Any one of us anywhere in the world. When these dark web chats happen and they threaten violence is a service, right, and they give random [00:46:00] addresses, any one of us can be harmed.

So for the, for his part, what happened in this incident is Barris pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. So in March last year, Tyler Baris was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Wow. Wow. Lindsay Viner was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and two years supervised release for his involvement.

While Shane gas gill's sentencing hearing is still pending. Officer Red, the officer who was relying on what they were saying, right? It was very, very detailed. They, they said, I'm gonna open this door. I'm gonna reach up and, and, and, and, and as soon as I raised my hand, I'm, I'm, I'm gonna shoot. So the officers at the time, what the research is showing, they don't, nobody believed that they actually were at fault because they didn't know they were literally being pulled alive.

I'm gonna this, and what happened is, When SWAT comes, all of the lights are on. So they like, they swarm the house. The guy opens the door and he goes like this. He leans up with his hand by his eyes to [00:47:00] see, and that's what they said he was gonna do. And as soon as he did that, they thought he was raising a gun and they fired him.

Unbelievable. Well, you know what the, the real scary part is, is that the, the same forms that we've been talking about used for the sim swapping are now being used for this violence as a service. Yeah, that's exactly right. You know, and what our, what our research has found, our dark web researchers many of these same individuals are finding these communities like, like Telegram that can be leveraged to hire physical harassment and intimidation of their rivals and competitors, just like we've talked about in these real true life cases.

You know, and, and the only primary barrier for, for them to hire someone, you know, primarily due to their age, to brick someone home or slash their tires seems to be the cost involved. Because other than that, there's no barrier. I mean, like a physical attack. What did, what did the research find $3,000 upon proof of successful completion, $3,000 to have somebody attacked, you know, and our fear is, is this [00:48:00] violence as a service offerings will at some point migrate outside of this sim swapping communities because this is just happening just now.

This is taking place in real time. And I, I don't think, and David, I know we've talked about it. That it's, it's not a far leap for this to, to grow further and, and other people start using this violence as a service for other nefarious deeds and, and tasks. It's just no, it's a bad thing and people need to be aware.

Yeah. And think about this, like it's why cyber bullying happens, right? Somebody, regardless of their physical stature or their physical ability can get very mean online because. They don't have to see the person, right? And these, and these agreements can happen. And when they happen on the dark web, they're, they're anonymous, right?

They're all hidden behind different layers. And that's really where the risk here comes in. And this is precisely what happened with swatting, which for years was a crime that was committed almost exclusively just against online gamers. It's for in retaliation or [00:49:00] people streaming their games online. And these days, these swatting attacks are commonly used by SIM swapping groups as a way to harass and extort normal people or normal people that are getting online into giving up their social media accounts.

Because when you have somebody's social media account, you have access to it. There's a lot of power and money that can be made on the dark web quickly. We're gonna get into another. True cyber crime story in one of the upcoming episodes. That is just absolutely shocking. And it is a perfect example of like brazen attempts attempts to, to capitalize against celebrities and really leverage this.

There's a lot of money at stake, there's a lot of involvement with sim swapping as well as all the things that we've been talking about. And it's really a form of extortion. And we're gonna get into the, the story of Plug Walk, Joe. Yes. Stay tuned for the story of Plug Walk, Joe. Yeah. Who's recently been indicted.

So well, David, this was all really helpful. I hope this enlightened some of the listeners [00:50:00] and attendees online that this is what's going on. This is what we see. This, this is happening. Like I said, the, the first story was just a couple months ago. The, the case is still going on, and, and several of these, so please pay attention.

Please take heed and, and please always be self-aware in your surroundings. Yeah. Thank you. Thank everybody for for, for listening and our next episode, we'll start now. Thanks. Hi, cyber Cybercrime Junkies. Thanks for listening. Got a question you want us to address on an episode? Reach out to us@cybercrimejunkies.com.

We explore why cybercrime grows daily. How it is funded, productized, and organized, how to protect yourself and where cybercrime goes to hide. And thanks for being a cybercrime junkie.