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Hacker pleads guilty in Australia’s first crypto-theft bust, 100,000 XRP stolen Hacker pleads guilty in Australia’s first crypto-theft bust, 100,000 XRP stolen

Hacker pleads guilty in Australia’s first crypto-theft bust, 100,000 XRP stolen

A 24-year-old woman in Sydney was found guilty of stealing 100,000 XRPโ€”worth $300,000 at the time of the theftโ€”in January of last year, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

Hacker pleads guilty in Australia’s first crypto-theft bust, 100,000 XRP stolen

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

A 24-year-old woman in Sydney was found guilty of stealing 100,000 XRPโ€”worth $300,000 at the time of the theftโ€”in January of last year, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. The perpetrator, Katherine Nguyen, is the first Australian found guilty of a crime involving cryptocurrency theft in the country.

Background on the arrest

Australian authorities arrested Nguyen for stealing 100,000 XRP after she hacked the email of a 56-year old man, of the same surname, according to a report published on October 2018. Itโ€™s unclear whether the two victims and the perpetrator are related.

Her hard drives, laptop, and mobile phone were seized in the bust. Authorities charged her for hacking the manโ€™s email account, changing his password, and setting up two-factor authentication to deny him access from his account.

The detectives further claimed she accessed the victim’s cryptocurrency account and stole over 100,000 XRP, worth $27,000 at current prices. The victim told police he didn’t have access to his account for two days as a direct result of the hack.

Recent Update

Investigators later discovered Nguyen converted the XRP to Bitcoin on a Chinese crypto exchange and laundered them into several wallets.

Arthur Katsigianis, the cybercrime unit commander, told reporters after arresting the perpetrator:

“It’s a very significant crime, and it’s the first we know of its type in Australia where an individual has been arrested and charged for the technology-enabled theft of cryptocurrency.”

Katsigianis added:

โ€œThis is where the criminal environment will expand and become ever more dangerous, particularly for people in the community trying to invest their monies in cryptocurrency…Personal information is a very valuable commodity to the criminals, and it should be treated and secured as you would cash.โ€

Verdict

Scams and hacks are still common among cryptocurrency users. Given the relative ease at liquidating stolen funds, cryptocurrency holders make ideal targetsโ€”emphasizing the importance of online anonymity, cyber-security, and proper internet hygiene.

As law enforcement authorities become more sophisticated, a greater number of hackers and scammers will likely be brought to justice. However, the number of victims will also multiply as the number of mainstream crypto-users increases.

For Katherine Nguyen, she is scheduled to be sentenced in October and there is a good chance she will face jail time for the hack.

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