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According to a CNBC crypto-teens-charged-1.6896349″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener nofollow”>report, US Hamilton police have arrested and charged two 17-year-old boys after allegedly stealing $4.2 million worth of cryptocurrency from an American man. The police said the two teens, who used the aliases “Felon” and “Gaze,” tricked the victim into giving them Ethereum and Bitcoin using a spear phishing attack.

The investigation began in June 2023 and involved the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. The teens allegedly impersonated Coinbase Support, a popular US-based crypto exchange, to take over the victim’s crypto exchange portfolios.

Police say that some of the stolen money was used to purchase a rare social media username, “zombie,” within the gaming community. The two accused reportedly had over $13.4 million in cryptocurrency.

The teens have been charged with theft over $5,000.00 and possession of property or proceeds of property obtained by crime. 

The case highlights the ongoing issue of cybercrime in the cryptocurrency industry and the importance of protecting personal information and assets.

What Are Spear Phishing Hacks In crypto?

Spear phishing attacks are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information. These attacks often involve impersonating a trusted source, such as a bank or financial institution, to trick victims into revealing personal information or transferring funds.

These hacks are a type of cyber attack that involves sending fraudulent communications, usually via email, that appear to come from a trusted source to trick the recipient into revealing sensitive information or performing a specific action, such as transferring funds.

The attackers will often research their target and use personal information to craft a message that appears legitimate and tailored to the recipient. For example, they may use the recipient’s name, job title, or other personal details to make the message seem more convincing.

The message may request that the recipient provide login credentials, passwords, or other sensitive information. Alternatively, the message may contain a link to a fake website that looks like a legitimate site, such as a bank or financial institution, where the recipient is prompted to enter their login information.

Another common tactic used in spear phishing attacks is to include a malicious link or attachment in the message. When the recipient clicks on the link or opens the attachment, they may inadvertently download malware or be directed to a fake website designed to steal their login credentials or other personal information.

Once the attackers have obtained the victim’s information, they can use it to steal money, launch additional attacks, or sell the information on the dark web.

As the popularity of cryptocurrency continues to grow, individuals need to remain vigilant and take steps to protect their assets. This includes using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and being cautious of unsolicited emails or messages requesting personal information or financial transactions.

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Bitcoin’s downtrend on the 1-day chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com

Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com 

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