Research from an individual named ZachXBT on Twitter pointed to Cameron Redman, a Canadian hacker, as the person responsible for the recent hacks that affected the artist known as Beeple and other prominent characters involved in the NFT industry.
According to ZachXBT, Redman made the headlines in 2020 after he stole $37 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) from Josh Jones, a well-known figure in the crypto space.
Redman appears to have accessed Jones’ user accounts by hacking his cellphone’s SIM card. This may have allowed him to move through the two-factor authentication (2FA) set by Jones without him necessarily noticing to access data such as his wallet addresses and private keys to siphon the funds.
ZachXBT provided illustrations of how the funds were quickly laundered via multiple centralized crypto exchanges by using so-called “mixers”, which are applications that can execute a large number of transactions rapidly to conceal the identity of the recipient of the stolen assets.
They do this by exchanging small amounts of one asset for many other assets that are later on sent to different wallet addresses on different networks and may ultimately be consolidated in a single wallet, making the entire chain of transactions too difficult to trace back.
More than a year and a half after the Jones incident occurred, authorities in Ontario, Canada arrested a young individual who was linked to a theft that involved SIM swapping and whose victim was a person in the United States who lost approximately CAD 46 million.
The police managed to seize CAD 7 million from Redman during the arrest. The remaining funds stolen from Jones remain missing to this date according to ZachXBT’s investigative report.
Redman pleaded guilty to the charge of theft of property worth over $5,000 and was sentenced to time serve and one-year probation. His probation period was contingent on not accessing or possessing any form of crypto assets.
Redman Reportedly Resurfaced Under the Pseudonym “Antihero”
Based on ZachXBT’s research, Redman may be involved with the hacking of prominent figures in the NFT space including Beeple, Jenkins the Valet, Nouns DAO, and DeeKay.
Millions of dollars worth of digital art and cryptocurrencies were reportedly stolen from people who sent either crypto assets or non-fungible tokens (NFT) to wallet addresses owned by impersonators who took advantage of the large community these artists had to entice their fans to send the money in exchange for exclusive assets or other similar items.
Redman could have been the facilitator of this cyber security incident according to the evidence presented by ZachXBT. A user named “antihero” that could be linked to Redman is being considered by the crypto investigator as the person or group responsible for these hacks as he advertised a Twitter panel on SWAPD – an online marketplace.
The “antihero” pseudonym is also being used on Instagram by an individual who apparently lives in Ontario, Canada.
Days after a payment was made to “antihero” for his “Twitter panel” a hacking incident occurred involving Nous DAO. The hack may have been facilitated by this so-called panel since, according to its developer or marketer, the software allows the user to request usernames, ban accounts, and restore access to locked/stolen accounts.
ZachXBT concludes that “It’s wild someone can SIM swap a person for $37m, only return $5.4m, & go back to their old ways without serious jail time”.
Crypto Hacks Skyrocket in 2022 Amid Incidents Involving DeFi Protocols
The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, lack of regulatory oversight, and investors’ lack of awareness in regards to how they can protect their assets from being stolen are contributing to increase the number of cybersecurity incidents involving the theft of crypto assets.
According to data from Chainalysis, the amount of crypto funds stolen during the first semester of 2022 surged by nearly 60% compared to the same period a year ago with roughly $1.9 billion being siphoned from investors.
These incidents primarily affected protocols of the decentralized finance (DeFI) space with prominent incidents including $625 stolen from the Ronin bridge of the Axie Infinity game and $325 million hackers siphoned from Wormhole – a Solana-based bridge for minting and cashing on wrapped Ether (wETH) without pledging collateral.
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