Police in Canada say they recently arrested a teen who (approximately $36.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency from a single individual in the US. According to authorities in Hamilton, Ontario, a city about one hour west of Toronto, the incident is the largest-ever cryptocurrency theft involving one person.
The owner of the currency was the victim of a SIM swap attack. Their cellphone number was hijacked and used to intercept two-factor authentication requests, thereby allowing access to their protected accounts. Some of the stolen money was used to purchase a “rare” online gaming username, which eventually allowed the Hamilton Police Service, as well as FBI and US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, to identify the account holder. Police seized approximately $7 million CAD ($5.5 million) in stolen cryptocurrency when they arrested the teen.
2021 has been a banner year for crypto thefts. In June, investors in South Africa when the founders of one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges disappeared. That same month, police in the UK in various digital currencies. At the time, it was the largest seizure of its kind in the country’s history.