Japanese Police Arrest 18-Year Old for $134,000 Crypto Theft

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

15 March 2019,
Japanese Police Arrest 18-Year Old for $134,000 Crypto Theft

The Japanese Police has reportedly arrested an unnamed 18-year-old resident of the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture for executing a crypto theft worth $134,000, that led to the shut down of a local crypto wallet provider.

Between August 14 and September 1, 2018, the teenager capitalized on a security issue on crypto wallet Monappy’s website to send multiple transfer requests of the Monacoin cryptocurrency from hot wallets owned by the platform to his private address.

After that, he moved the cryptocurrency (worth 15 million yen or $134,000) to wallets on other exchanges before converting to fiat. He then used the funds to purchase a smartphone and some other gadgets, without being wary of the fact that over 7735 users were affected by his actions.

While admitting to the crime, the teenager reportedly told the Police,

“I felt like I’d found a trick no one knew and did it as if I were playing a video game.”

Meanwhile, the official website of Monappy, the crypto wallet service hacked by the teenager has remained offline since September 2018 with a note to visitors saying “service has been suspended due to external attacks.”

In a more detailed post on Medium, Monappy confirmed the hack with a portion of the update remarking — “there was a situation where all the Monacoin stored in the hot wallet was unfairly withdrawn” through manipulation of user promo codes.

Since then, the exchange has not provided any definite timeline about its resumption of operations, though it claims to have completed “direct repair of defects and other issues that directly caused the problem.”

Meanwhile, in another news about crypto exchanges, we reported earlier today that authorities in Canada had released proposed regulations for exchange operators. One of the newly proposed regulation provides an option for Canadian exchanges to cover for losses similar to Monappy’s effectively.


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