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A 23-Year-old woman has been arrested in New South Wales, Australia for stealing more than $450,000 of cryptocurrency. The identity of the woman has not been released.
Investigators from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad set up a team in January to investigate 100,000 units of the cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) that were stolen from a 56-year-old man. The man was first notified about the theft when he lost access to his email account in January, believing it was hacked. The man eventually gained access to his email again, only to find his cryptocurrency account, set up through his email, had also been compromised. The balance of his cryptocurrency account was now close to 0.
Following an extensive investigation by the New South Wales police force, the decision was made to search a home in Epping on 8 am Thursday October 25. The investigation concluded that the woman locked the man out of his email by changing his password, she then set up the crypto wallets authentication process to go to a phone she had access to. The woman compromised the wallet, transferring 100,000 units of Ripple to a Chinese exchange, which she later converted into popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. The woman is set to appear at Burwood Local Court on Monday 19 November. The Police are continuing their investigations.
This case highlights the importance of being vigilant with your email security. Often times people have many email addresses that they use for different functions, for example having a “spam” or informal email is common since most services you interact with now require an email, but you don’t necessarily want your local takeaway to be clogging up your main email. This is fine, but to simplify things, people often keep the same password across many accounts and services, and some businesses are more trustworthy than others, and equally some passwords are easier to hack than others. One solution to this many users are taking to is having a password manager that will create unique and complex passwords that it will store in an encrypted location.
Be careful with your passwords and account security in order to protect your cryptocurrency. If your crypto is compromised it can often be incredibly difficult or impossible to gain the access back, so its best practice to be vigilant from the get-go. Best practices include using a password manager, changing your passwords regularly so that if your password is compromised on another site, but you use the same password you are less vulnerable to attack. Lastly set up a several step authentication processes for changing passwords and contact information.