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The crypto community was brought down to its knees in late 2017 when a massive crypto heist was performed on a then-presumed unhackable crypto exchange platform, EtherDelta.
Thankfully, two suspects were captured in relation to the case. The suspects, Anthony Tyler Nashatka and Elliot Gunton, allegedly carried out the crypto heist by successfully replacing EtherDelta’s original website with another website identical, only a fake.
According to the indictment released by the California district court, the alleged suspects bought the contact details of the founder and operator of EtherDelta, “Z.C.” or Zachary Coburn. On December 13, the suspects reportedly used their access to the email address and phone number of Coburn and somehow found their way with the telecommunication company, making them redirect all his calls and emails to another number fully controlled by them.
Having gained total control of Coburn’s phone and email address, the suspected hackers were able to gain privileged information about the website and bypassed the 2-factor authentication on Coburn’s other accounts. A week after, with all the necessary info in their hands, the suspects gained access to EtherDelta’s Cloudflare account and replaced the real EtherDelta website with a facade solely controlled by them.
This way they were able to collect all the information entered by users, including their private keys. And with the private keys, they gained access to the users’ crypto wallets, which was their end game from the beginning.
With the private keys of thousands of users, the suspects were able to empty as many accounts as they deemed fit, parting away with a ton of cryptocurrency funds.
All this while, Coburn was not in the know. With the passwords changed and the website replaced, there is little or nothing he could actually do. To keep the crypto users and traders from panicking, he tried managing the situation, until it completely got out of hands.
The indictment states that the suspects were charged for fraud.
Crypto Platforms Are Hackable, Just Like Other Platforms
While hacking is common with virtually every system, the extent of this hack and the trading platform involved depict how disastrous the impact of a crypto hack it and that absolutely no one is 100% safe.
While all exchanges and online platforms are, as a matter of fact, hackable, some platforms are considered impenetrable due to the mammoth security measures they have put on ground.
The crypto heist on EtherDelta in December 2017 also sent a shock wave across the crypto industry, painting a painful realization that no one is fully secured.