The US Indicts Two for Involvement in EtherDelta Hack

By September 23, 2019 Ethereum
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Almost two years after the hack of EtherDelta, the United States attorney have indicted two suspects in connection with the attack and theft from the crypto exchange.

According to publicly available court documents, the attorney’s office for the Northern District of California indicted Elliot Gunton and Anthony Tyler Nashatka for the December 2017 hack of the platform which was facilitating trading services for Ethereum and other tokens on the blockchain.

Gunton, aka “Glubz”, is a 20-year old UK resident and was also involved in TalkTalk hack. Nashatka, aka “psycho”, on the other hand, hails from New York.

A well-thought attack

As mentioned in the documents, the entire operation of attacking the crypto exchange was done in a span of two weeks, all of which started on December 13, 2017, with the illegal purchase of the personal details of an EthereDelta employee by Nashatka.

Though the employee of the exchange is only identified is Z.C. in the documents, it is believed that it was the then CEO of the EthereDelta Zachary Coburn.

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After realizing the value of the acquired personal information, Nashatka immediately reached out to Gunton and started planning to hijack EtherDelta’s Cloudflare and Dreamhost accounts.

On December 19, the perpetrators pulled off a classic SIM swap fraud and added a call forward functionality from Coburn’s number to a google voice number operated by the two to by-pass the two-factor authentication required for login into EtherDelta admin accounts.

The following day the two hackers modified the DNS settings of EtherDelta’s website and redirect all website traffic to a fake website, resulting in the stealing of visitors crucial credentials including private keys.

Though the court documents did not specify the exact loss incurred in the attack, it only mentioned that one of the victims lost as much as $800,000.

Meanwhile, Coburn was also in murky waters for business practices in EtherDelta. In November 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US charged him for operating an unregulated securities exchange and fined $400,000.

Last month, Primitive Ventures-founding partner Dovey Wan revealed that the Chinese authorities are now investigating EtherDelta under the suspicion of an exit scam pulled off by the new owners of the exchange.

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