Shakeeb Ahmed, a former Amazon engineer, has pleaded guilty to hacking two cryptocurrency exchanges and obtaining over $12 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency. The hacks occurred in 2022 and targeted exchanges on the Solana blockchain.
Ahmed manipulated the exchanges’ smart contracts by submitting falsified data, generating millions of dollars in inflated fees. He first hacked Nirvana Finance, obtaining $10 million worth of tokens at a low price and selling them for a $3.6 million profit. After the hack, Ahmed proposed returning some of the funds in exchange for avoiding legal action.
Ahmed then went on to hack another unnamed crypto exchange on the Solana blockchain, obtaining over $12 million total. He attempted to cover his tracks by converting the stolen funds through cryptocurrency mixers and accessing overseas exchanges. The hack of Nirvana Finance resulted in the company shutting down.
Guilty Plea and Sentencing
Ahmed has pleaded guilty to computer intrusion and fraud, faces up to 5 years in prison, and must forfeit the $12.3 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency. Prosecutors noted Ahmed’s attempt to strike a deal to avoid consequences as evidence against him.
Crypto Industry Continues to be Impacted
The cryptocurrency industry continues to be affected by hacks and fraud, with September seeing losses of $332 million from crypto exploits.