Behind Bars: Software Engineer Convicted In Nirvana Hack Case

Shakeeb Ahmed, a computer security engineer, got three years in prison plus three years of supervised release in Southern New York District (SDNY) Court. In 2022, authorities caught him for conducting flash loan attacks on the decentralized Crypto Exchange and Nirvana exchanges.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams mentioned in a statement that Ahmed was the first person convicted of hacking a smart contract. Alongside the jail time, Ahmed has to give up $12.3 million and “a lot of cryptocurrency” and pay the exchanges $5 million.

Ahmed said he would give back all the money he took from Crypto Exchange, except $1.5 million, if they didn’t go to the police. Nirvana offered $600,000 for the money back, but Ahmed wanted $1.4 million of the $3.6 million he stole, and they couldn’t agree.

Nirvana’s NIRV stablecoin no longer tied to the U.S. dollar. Their own ANA coin dropped 85% after the hack news and shut down soon after. As per the SDNY statement, Ahmed washed the stolen money.

Moving fraud money around, first by swapping tokens, then shifting it from Solana to Ethereum, and finally converting it into Monero. After that, it’s about sending it through foreign crypto exchanges and mixing it up with tools like Samourai Whirlpool.

Nirvana Unraveled: Tech Engineer’s Journey

In July 2022, Crema, a third exchange, experienced an attack using similar methods; however, federal charges did not directly connect him to this incident.

Ahmed worked as a senior security engineer for a big tech company when he did the attacks, the statement says. Bloomberg says Ahmed was in charge of Amazon’s bug bounty program.

Inner City Press says Ahmed, who got bail, now works for a mental health care startup. He said at his trial, “I saw hacks, I figured out how to exploit an exchange’s smart contracts. I started therapy.”

Ahmed got nabbed in New York and got hit with charges in July for wire fraud and money laundering linked to the hacks. Then, he owned up to one count of computer fraud in Dec.

Related Reading | Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulator Aims For Crypto Firm Relief

The author’s views are for reference only and shall not constitute any investment advice. Please ensure you fully understand and assess the products and associated risks before purchasing.

Comments (No)

Leave a Reply