Ex-Amazon engineer sentenced to 3 years in prison for $12m crypto hack

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A former Amazon software program engineer Shakeeb Ahmed was sentenced to a few years in jail for exploiting good contracts.

The breaches in 2022 resulted within the theft of over $12 million in several cryptocurrencies. The trial was the first-ever sentencing for a cyberattack on good contracts.

Ahmed admitted in December 2023 to manipulating good contracts. By inserting fraudulent pricing information into the platforms’ contracts, the engineer generated roughly $12 million in unearned income, which he subsequently withdrew as cryptocurrency.

Whereas the prosecutors selected to not disclose one of many affected platforms, proof within the indictment suggests it was Crema Finance. The opposite platform concerned was Nirvana Finance, which ceased operations following the hack in July 2022.

Earlier than the incident, Ahmed had led Amazon’s bug bounty program, the place he recognized and stuck safety loopholes in its software program. The prosecution, highlighting the novelty of this case involving good contract hacking, had beneficial a four-year jail time period. 

They acknowledged Ahmed’s cooperation and his restitution of the vast majority of the stolen funds however emphasised the necessity for his imprisonment to function a deterrent and underscore the gravity of his offenses.

Alternatively, Ahmed’s protection argued for probation as a substitute of jail time, citing his compromised psychological well being in the course of the time of the hacks and the truth that the stolen funds had been largely untouched apart from overlaying a relative’s medical bills. Ahmed, initially from Saudi Arabia, had his authorized staff plea for leniency based mostly on the next elements.

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