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San Francisco, July 12 – Shakeeb Ahmed, a former senior security engineer at Amazon, has been accused in the US of hacking a famous cryptocurrency exchange and stealing around $9 million in crypto.
The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York announced the indictment of Ahmed with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his attack on a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange.
Ahmed’s LinkedIn profile revealed he is a senior security engineer at Amazon.
The company, however, said he is no longer employed.
The crypto exchange Ahmed hit operated on the Solana blockchain.
While the exchange was not named, reports said it matches last year’s theft from Crema Finance, a Solana-based DEX.
In July 2022, Ahmed carried out an attack on the crypto exchange by exploiting a vulnerability in one of the its smart contracts and inserting fake pricing data to fraudulently cause that smart contract to generate approximately $9 millionworth of inflated fees that he did not legitimately earn, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement.
“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,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.
“We also allege that he then laundered the stolen funds through a series of complex transfers on the blockchain where he swapped cryptocurrencies, hopped across different crypto blockchains, and used overseas crypto exchanges,” he added.
According to the DOJ, he laundered the millions in fees that he stole to conceal their source and ownership.
Ahmed is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.