US authorities accidentally sent $55k in cryptocurrency to a fraudster
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration accidentally sent $55k in cryptocurrency to a fraudster
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sent the funds to a wallet in whose address the attacker replaced several characters
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lost $55 thousand in cryptocurrency due to its own inattention as a result of the actions of a cryptocurrency wallet swap scammer, Forbes reports.
In May 2023, the DEA withdrew just over $500k in Tether USD (USDT) from two Binance cryptocurrency exchange accounts and placed them in controlled accounts. During this time, the attacker was monitoring the regulator's on chain activity and noticed that the DEA had sent a test amount of $45.36 to one of the wallets of a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Marshals Service.
The fraudster quickly created a cryptocurrency wallet whose address matched the first five and last four characters of the Marshals Service wallet and made a reverse transaction purportedly on behalf of the agency. The attacker hoped that the agency would copy the wrong wallet address when sending the full amount, which eventually happened, and the fraudster received $55,000.
As a result, the DEA, having discovered the error, applied to block the funds to Tether to prevent the criminal from withdrawing the cryptocurrency, but the funds had already been converted.
In 2022, $11.5 billion in cryptocurrencies were lost to hacks and fraudsters. Bitcoin's share of illegal cryptocurrency transactions has decreased significantly due to the emergence of many other networks.
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