3 min read

23-year-old woman charged with stealing $320,000 worth of cryptocurrency

Graham CLULEY

October 26, 2018

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
23-year-old woman charged with stealing $320,000 worth of cryptocurrency

Police in Australia have arrested a 23-year-old woman in Melbourne, Australia, in connection with an email hack that resulted in a huge amount of virtual currency being stolen.

The story starts in January 2018, when a 56-year-old man discovered that he had been locked out of his email account. His password had been changed and his account’s security settings updated to enable a mystery cellphone to be used as a means of secondary authentication.

After two days the man was able to regain control of his email account, and after checking its activity found that his cryptocurrency wallet had been emptied.

The man, who has not been identified, contacted local police saying that 100,000 units of the Ripple cryptocurrency (also known as XRP). In total, the cryptocurrency that was stolen from the man’s electronic wallet and transferred to an account in China is believed to have been worth AUD $450,000 at the time, or approximately US $320,000.

Further investigation determined that the virtual currency sent to the Chinese exchange was later converted into Bitcoin.

Yesterday, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Australian authorities arrested the unnamed 23-year-old woman at her home in Epping, Melbourne, and charged her with the theft.

During the raid, police seized computers, hard drives, and mobile phones for digital forensic examination.

According to investigators, the woman is believed to have broken into the email account and used information contained within it to ultimately access the victim’s digital wallet.

The woman has been granted conditional bail, and is due to appear in court on 19th November.

New South Wales Police Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis warned that email users need to be careful about how they protect their inbox, and to consider the sensitive information that could even reside in ‘Sent’ and ‘Deleted messages’ folders:

“An email account is more valuable than people realize—scammers are increasingly targeting emails as they link the individual to financial accounts and other personal information. There is often valuable information saved in sent items or the trash, and scammers will look for anything that will assist in taking over your identity or accessing your finances. This is the modern equivalent of digging through a household rubbish bin or stealing mail.”

It’s certainly something worth remembering. Your email address is perhaps the crux of your entire internet identity. Just about every service you access has some type of link to your email address, and inside your inbox there will be sensitive information which can be a goldmine for an online thief. Furthermore, it is usually your email address that will be contacted by services if you (or a criminal) requests a password reset to an online account.

Most major online services, including email accounts, provide additional levels of security which can make it much harder for a hacker to gain access.

Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for instance, means that even if an online criminal manages to steal a password through, for instance, a phishing attack it will be much harder for them to log into an account and will, in many cases, make a thief look for a softer target.

Some online services even allow the use of physical keys if you do not want to use a smartphone app for authentication.

If I had $320,000 worth of cryptocurrency stored in a digital wallet, I would certainly want to know that there were strong security measures in place to make it as hard as possible for unauthorised parties to access it.

Furthermore, it makes good sense for every internet user to choose strong, hard-to-crack passwords and never reuse the same password on different sites. Password managers are probably the best way for most people to generate complex passwords and store them securely.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

June 22, 2022

1 min read
Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

May 24, 2022

3 min read
John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

April 15, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

April 14, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Israeli Authorities Seized Severs of Breached Company for Not Cooperating Israeli Authorities Seized Severs of Breached Company for Not Cooperating
Silviu STAHIE

July 04, 2022

1 min read
FTC warns LGBTQ+ community of extortion scams targeting them on dating apps FTC warns LGBTQ+ community of extortion scams targeting them on dating apps
Graham CLULEY

July 01, 2022

2 min read
OpenSea Breach Exposes 1.8 Million Email Addresses. How does it affect you? OpenSea Breach Exposes 1.8 Million Email Addresses. How does it affect you?
Radu CRAHMALIUC

June 30, 2022

3 min read