Australian Woman Arrested For Stealing 100,000 XRP

Crime, News | October 26, 2018 By:

Australia’s New South Wales Police has arrested a 23-year-old woman for allegedly hacking half a million dollars-worth of cryptocurrency from a wallet owned by a 56-year-old man.

The police reportedly launched an investigation in January of this year after the victim was locked out of a trading account and had 100,000 units of Ripple stolen. At the time, XRP was trading at around $3.50 and the holdings were worth about $350,000. However, given the volatile nature of crypto assests, the price has since plunged to just over $45,500.

NSW Police said that the unnamed suspect, who was arrested following a raid at her home, gained illegal access to the victim’s email account and enabled a mobile number as a second authentication on the account. The suspect then accessed the victim’s e-wallet and transferred the XRP tokens to a China-based cryptocurrency exchange. The suspect was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Burwood Local Court on November 19.

The police did not confirm if the young woman acted alone, but said that the suspect had particular skills that helped her carry out the theft.

“It’s a very significant crime and it’s the first we know of its type in Australia where an individual has been arrested and charged for the technology-enabled theft of cryptocurrency,” said Cybercrime Squad Commander Arthur Katsogiannis.

Katsogiannis warned that this type of crime would “become the new norm” and urged the community to enable multi-factor authentication on accounts to help protect from hackers.

“This is where the criminal environment will expand and become ever more dangerous particularly for people in the community trying to invest their monies in cryptocurrency,” Katsogiannis said. “Personal information is a very valuable commodity to the criminals and it should be treated and secured as you would cash.”