The hackers allegedly behind the EtherDelta security breach in 2017 have been formally indicted, according to court documents filed last month.
Elliot Gunton was known by the handle “Planet” and Anthony Tyler Nashatka aka “Psycho” face computer fraud charges that may result in years of prison time and millions of dollars in fines for stealing at least $800,000 of cryptocurrency from EtherDelta, a decentralized trading platform for Ether and Ethereum-based tokens.
According to the indictment, Nashatka purchased the contact information of the founder and CEO of EtherDelta, Zachary Coburn aka “Z.C.”.
Nashatka proceeded by sending the phone number and email address to Gunton.
Gunton managed to successfully convince a support operator at Coburn’s cellphone provider to forward all calls to a Google Voice number controlled by the hackers.
Having acquired complete control of Coburn’s phone number, the two hackers were able to obtain access to Coburn’s email address.
The hackers redirected the domain
The suspects acquired access to EtherDelta’s Cloudflare account and altered the domain settings, replacing the real EtherDelta website with a fake site controlled by them that resembled EtherDelta’s real site.
With the private keys in their possession, the suspects were able to obtain access to the customers’ crypto wallets, which was their end goal.
The hackers proceeded to withdraw cryptocurrency from Coburn’s account and deposited it in an account they controlled.
The formal indictment accuses the suspects of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse,
Such charges carry maximum imprisonment fluctuating from two to twenty years and maximum fines up to $250,000. Moreover, the authorities are seeking forfeiture of property employed in perpetrating the alleged crimes or acquired from the crimes.
Nashatka is scheduled to appear in federal court in San Francisco on Oct. 10.
One of the hackers, Gunton, aged 19, was sentenced in the United Kingdom in August in a comparable case, for hacking telecommunications provider TalkTalk and stealing personal data in exchange for cryptocurrency.
Law enforcement had seized Gunton’s computer and hardware wallet Nano Ledger. Digital forensic analysis revealed that Gunton had over $300,000 worth of Bitcoin in his account.
He was sentenced to 20 months in jail and ordered to repay more than £400,000 (over $485,000 US) by the Norwich Crown Court.