The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, just announced the indictment of a former cybersecurity professional who allegedly hacked an international decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) and stole $9 million worth of crypto assets.
The 34-year-old, a senior security engineer at an international technology company at the time of the attack, allegedly inserted fake pricing data that caused the platform’s smart contract to generate $9 million worth of inflated fees.
Ahmed then withdrew the fees in cryptocurrency and laundered them to conceal the source and owner of the funds. The accused also tried to evade prosecution.
“After he stole the fees he never legitimately earned, AHMED had communications with the Crypto Exchange in which he decided to return all of the stolen funds except for $1.5 million if the Crypto Exchange agreed not to refer the attack to law enforcement.
After the attack, AHMED searched online for information about the attack, his own criminal liability, criminal defense attorneys with expertise in similar cases, law enforcement’s ability to successfully investigate the attack, and fleeing the United States to avoid criminal charges.”
Ahmed was arrested in New York on Tuesday and now faces charges of wire fraud and money laundering, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years each.
Williams says the charges represent the first-ever criminal charges ever brought involving an attack on a smart contract operated by a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.
“As alleged in the indictment, Shakeeb Ahmed, who was a senior security engineer at an international technology company, used his expertise to defraud the exchange and its users and steal approximately $9 million in cryptocurrency.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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