A teenager from Hamilton, Ontario, has been arrested for his role in a much larger cryptocurrency theft worth $46 million CAD ($36 million USD).
The individual was arrested specifically for theft of more than $5,000 CAD, as well as possession of property or proceeds of property obtained through criminal activity.
The $36 million case, which is currently in court, was filed in March 2020.
The Hamilton Police Department collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force on the investigation.
The victim of the crypto heist was located in the United States.
“The victim was the victim of a SIM swap attack,” Hamilton police said in a statement. “A SIM swap attack is a method of hijacking valuable accounts by manipulating cellular network employees to duplicate phone numbers so threat actors can intercept two-factor authorization requests.”
The SIM swap attack resulted in the theft of approximately $36 million in cryptocurrency from the victim.
“This is currently the largest cryptocurrency theft reported from a single individual,” the cops added.
According to the investigation, a portion of the stolen cryptocurrency was also used to purchase an online username that was “considered to be rare in the gaming community.”
Cryptocurrency and youth crime
This is not the first instance of a young person being involved in criminal activity involving cryptocurrency.
Last month, police in the United Kingdom seized $2.7 million in Bitcoin from an unnamed teenager after a “sophisticated cyber fraud.”
The adolescent created a bogus website and purchased cryptocurrency with stolen vouchers worth thousands of pounds.
The Lincoln Crown Court granted him a 12-month rehabilitation order.