An Australian woman who hacked into the email of a 56-year-old man and access his cryptocurrency wallet to steal over 100,000 XRP tokens, has been sentenced to two years in prison for the theft.
According to « Australian news outlet Information Age the woman, 25-year-old Kathryn Nguyen, stole the funds back in January 2018, at the height of the cryptocurrency bubble, when the price of XRP was close to the $3 mark.
The news outlet reports that with the help of an unnamed associate, Nguyen broke into the man’s cryptocurrency account by swapping his two-factor authentication to her own mobile device, and proceeded to move the funds to an unnamed exchange where they were traded for bitcoin. The BTC was then distributed across multiple wallets.
The funds are now worth little under $30,000, but were reportedly sold when XRP was still trading close to $3, meaning they were cashed out for about $300,000 worth of bitcoin. According to 7News Sydney, authorities in China froze the funds they could, and were only able to recover about $9,000.
Judge Chris Craigie, who sentenced Nguyen, said it was a “difficult and troubling decision,” as her actions were “out of character” for her and that her “moral judgment was distorted at the time.”
Police raided Nguyen’s house after a near 12-month investigation, where they seized computers, mobile phones, and money. Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft revealed reporting cyber-related crime is important, as most people don’t report these crimes.
Craft noted that while sometimes offenders are overseas and “there’s not much law enforcement can do,” unless people report the crimes authorities are “not in a position to make that determination.”
Per Information Age, Nguyen is the first Australian charged over the theft of cryptocurrencies.
Featured image via Pixabay.