The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) is going after Arizona-based hacker Ahmad Wagaafe Hared, who is reported to have stolen approximately $5.2 million in Bitcoin. The incident spanned from October 2016 to May 2018 and targeted executives in Silicon Valley’s cryptocurrency community.
Exploiting Victims with SIM Swapping Techniques
Accomplices Hared and individuals from Tucson used advanced SIM-swapping techniques to gain access to their victims’ sensitive personal accounts, including email and crypto wallets. At the time, Hared, who was just 18 years old, and his team impersonated these executives by claiming that their accounts were locked and initiated password reset procedures with telecom companies. These strategies allowed them to take over personal accounts and transfer large amounts of cryptocurrency to their own accounts.
Demands for Return Despite Previous Agreement
Despite making a plea agreement with federal authorities in 2019, Hared is now being compelled by the DoJ to return all the stolen Bitcoin and the 2017 BMW i8 purchased with illegal funds.
The government has indicated that if the seized Bitcoin or the sports car cannot be found or delivered, other properties owned by Hared will be confiscated.