• US authorities have charged a former cybersecurity professional with stealing $9 million worth of crypto assets from an international decentralized crypto exchange.
• Shakeeb Ahmed is alleged to have exploited a vulnerability of the Solana-based DEX and inserted fake pricing data, generating $9 million worth of inflated fees that he laundered to conceal the source and owner of the funds.
• Ahmed faces charges of wire fraud and money laundering carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years each.

US Charges Cybersecurity Engineer With Stealing Crypto

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, recently 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.

Details Of The Attack

Shakeeb Ahmed is accused of exploiting a vulnerability in the Solana (SOL)-based DEX sometime in July 2022 when he inserted fake pricing data which caused the platform’s smart contract to generate inflated fees amounting to $9 million. He then withdrew these fees in cryptocurrency and laundered them to conceal their origin.

Ahmed’s Attempt To Evade Prosecution

After successfully carrying out his attack, Ahmed communicated with the Crypto Exchange proposing that they not refer it to law enforcement if he returned all but $1.5 million dollars back to them. He also searched online for information about his own criminal liability, possible defense attorneys, law enforcement’s ability to investigate such an attack, and ways to flee from prosecution.

Charges Brought Against Ahmed

Ahmed was arrested on Tuesday in New York and now faces charges of wire fraud and money laundering which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years each. This makes him the first person ever charged with such crimes involving an attack on a smart contract operated by a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange according to Williams .


This case serves as yet another reminder that despite being decentralized exchanges still vulnerable to cyber attacks which can result in significant losses if users are not careful about where they put their digital assets or who they trust with them .

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