DOJ Investigates FTX $372 Million FTX Hack
- The DOJ is yet to determine if the hacker received support from any FTX employee. If caught, the attacker faces up to a decade in prison for computer fraud.
- Crypto forensics company, Elliptic, claims the hacker used RenBridge to bridge the stolen assets to Bitcoin.
- Ren was purchased by Alameda Research last year. However, the bridging service has been accused of laundering millions on behalf of Alameda Research.
The U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly opened an inquiry into the location of roughly $372 million in missing digital assets from embattled exchanges FTX and FTX US. Hours after filing for bankruptcy last month, FTX said it had observed “unusual wallet activity” involving at least 228,523 ETH moved from the exchange by an unidentified attacker.
Last month, Ryan Miller, FTX Us’s general counsel, noted that the transfer was unauthorized and that the US-based exchange had transferred all cryptocurrency to cold wallets as a safety measure. Interestingly, Elliptic, a blockchain forensic firm, claims that the unidentified attacker stole up to $477 million worth of digital assets and swapped the ether for RenBTC before bridging it to bitcoin using the RenBridge service.
FTX has faced intense scrutiny since it filed for bankruptcy last month. To make matters worse, the exchange’s executives, including its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, were accused of mismanaging customer funds for personal gains. So, many crypto users have suggested that the missing funds could have been masterminded by Bankman-Fried and his lieutenants.
However, the disgraced 30-year-old dismissed such claims, noting that an old FTX employee or one with unauthorized access to their computer could have pulled the attack. Bankman-Fried said he has narrowed the list of suspects down to eight people but has no idea who is responsible.
According to those with knowledge of the situation, federal prosecutors are probing any possible internal breach in FTX that enabled the hack. Prosecutors are yet to determine if an insider was involved in the hack.
Sources also claim that some of the stolen assets were successfully frozen by authorities. Law enforcement agents are reportedly collaborating closely with federal prosecutors in Manhattan. The hacker faces up to 10 years in prison for computer fraud if found.