Former Amazon Safety Engineer Arrested and Accused of Hacking Crypto Alternate

A high cybersecurity professional for Amazon seems to be in serious trouble. Federal prosecutors say Shakeeb Ahmed used his hacking expertise to steal $9 million in belongings from a cryptocurrency trade final summer season, then tried to launder the stolen items via a haze of on-line trickery.

The 34-year-old techie was taken into custody in Manhattan on Tuesday and charged with wire fraud and cash laundering. Described by officers solely as a “former safety engineer” for an “worldwide know-how firm,” Ahmed is accused of utilizing his safety acumen to cheat an unnamed Solana-based crypto trade out of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

Extra particularly, cops say that Ahmed exploited a vulnerability within the unnamed trade’s good contract—the software program used to facilitate crypto transactions—which allowed him to generate $9 million in illegitimate charges. These charges had been presupposed to be paid to prospects who offered excessive ranges of liquidity to the platform. Nonetheless, Ahmed allegedly manipulated the software program to insert false value knowledge that mainly generated cash out of skinny air. Ahmed can be accused of later utilizing “flash mortgage” assaults—one other form of crypto exploit—to attempt to bilk extra money out of the trade.

It was initially unclear what firm Ahmed had beforehand labored for, as officers didn’t determine his place of employment. Nonetheless, on Tuesday night, cybersecurity blogger Jackie Singh wrote that Ahmed had labored for Amazon, citing quite a few on-line profiles that gave the impression to be tied to the safety skilled.

Gizmodo reached out to Amazon for particulars about Ahmed’s employment and a spokesperson confirmed that Ahmed was now not employed with the corporate however couldn’t present additional particulars about his function on the tech large.

A LinkedIn profile matching Ahmed’s description lists him as a “Senior Safety Engineer” at Amazon and says he has been employed with the corporate since November of 2020. The profile nonetheless lists Amazon because the person’s place of employment. It couldn’t instantly be verified whether or not the profile mirrored the individual arrested Tuesday.

Interior Metropolis Press, a New York outlet, reports that when Ahmed appeared in court docket for his arraignment on Tuesday he was carrying flip flops, shorts, and a T-shirt that merely stated “I code.” He was subsequently launched on bond and will probably be allowed to proceed reside at his house within the Manhattan, the outlet says.

“As alleged, Mr. Ahmed used his expertise as a pc safety engineer to steal hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. He then allegedly tried to cover the stolen funds, however his expertise had been no match for IRS Prison Investigation’s Cyber Crimes Unit,” stated Tyler Hatcher, particular agent in control of the cyber unit, in a statement on Tuesday. “We, together with our companions at HSI and the Division of Justice, are on the forefront of cyber investigations and can monitor these fraudsters wherever they attempt to disguise and maintain them accountable.”

Every of the fees that Ahmed has been slapped with carry a most penalty of twenty years in jail. If convicted, he may face many years behind bars.

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