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Hacker pleads guilty to $12M Solana DeFi hacks in first smart contract fraud conviction

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Shakeeb Ahmed, a safety engineer who exploited two Solana DeFi apps, has pleaded responsible, based on statements from authorities on Dec. 14.

Damian Williams, United States Legal professional for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), introduced a responsible plea from the perpetrator. He said:

“5 months in the past, my Workplace introduced the primary ever arrest involving an assault on a sensible contract. As we speak … Shakeeb Ahmed pled responsible and agreed to return all the stolen crypto to his victims … As we speak’s conviction reveals that irrespective of how subtle the strategies used, fraud is fraud, and we are going to swiftly catch and convict you.”

Ahmed launched the primary of two assaults beginning on July 2, 2022, when he focused an unnamed decentralized change to generate $9 million via inflated charges. Ahmed agreed to return all however $1.5 million of the stolen funds if the change kept away from reporting the assault to legislation enforcement. Nevertheless, SDNY authorities finally arrested and charged Ahmed in July 2023.

Later proceedings revealed that Ahmed had carried out a second assault on Nirvana Finance, a Solana-based decentralized finance platform, round July 28, 2022. In that assault, Ahmed manipulated flash loans to buy Nirvana’s ANA token at a low worth, then resold these tokens at a better worth to acquire $3.6 million. After a failed bounty negotiation with Nirvana, Ahmed refused to return the stolen funds, and Nirvana shut down attributable to a virtually full lack of funds.

Although the hack in opposition to Nirvana Finance was reported because it occurred, Ahmed’s involvement within the assault was not recognized till in the present day.

Over $12M stolen

The announcement states that Ahmed stole over $12 million from the 2 platforms and tried to cover the theft via a number of actions.

Notably, Ahmed swapped his ill-gotten good points for Monero (XMR), moved funds via crypto mixers akin to Samourai Whirlpool, used a blockchain-hopping technique, transferred funds to the Ethereum blockchain, and transacted on worldwide crypto exchanges. He additionally looked for data associated to authorized defenses and the potential for fleeing america.

Authorities mentioned that Ahmed has pleaded responsible to 1 depend of laptop fraud for a most sentence of 5 years in jail. His sentence will probably be decided in March 2024. Ahmed has agreed to pay restitution of $5 million to his victims.

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