Ontario teen arrested after allegedly stealing $46M in cryptocurrency

It could be one of the biggest crypto thefts in Canadian history

Ontario teen arrested after allegedly stealing $46M in cryptocurrency

An Ontario teenager could be behind what investigators are dubbing as the largest cryptocurrency scam involving one person in Canadian history, after allegedly stealing $46 million from the victim. The target was a victim of a SIM swap attack, according to a report from CTV News, which cited the police. A SIM swap attack can happen after scammers obtain as much information about their target as possible. Once done, they will be able to trick the victim's phone provider into switching their number to another SIM card controlled by the attacker.

This will leave the victim unable to use his or her mobile number, while the scammer receives all incoming calls and texts, including two-factor authentication security systems that are used as protection for credit cards and other digital transactions. It turns out that the police, in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, have been carrying out a joint investigation on the case since March 2020.

The Hamilton police said the stolen cryptocurrency was used to buy a rare online username, which eventually led the trackers to the account holder.

Read more: How cryptocurrency will impact HR

"The joint investigation revealed that some of the stolen cryptocurrency was used to purchase an online username that was considered to be rare in the gaming community," said the police in a statement.

"This transaction led investigators to uncover the account holder of the rare username," it added.

The Hamilton police made the arrest on Wednesday but refused to disclose the age of the accused, citing the ongoing investigations and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Meanwhile, authorities are urging the public to keep their accounts secure by using different passwords and utilising second-factor authentication methods.

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