An 18-year-old Japanese boy has been referred to the prosecutor’s office over an alleged ¥15 million ($134,300) crypto heist on a digital assets storage website.
The boy is suspected to have played a key role in the theft, which marks the first time in Japan where criminal charges have been pursued in relation to hacked crypto losses, reports the Japan Times.
The suspect, whose name is withheld due to being a minor, allegedly stole the money after hacking a crypto storage website called Monappy.
The website is used for storing the Monacoin cryptocurrency. The hack is believed to have occurred between August 14th and September 1st 2018.
The suspect is believed to have used the privacy browser Tor.
Typically, the Tor browser makes it hard to identify who is accessing the system. However, police determined his identity through analysing communication records left on the website’s server.
The police have stated the suspect admitted to the allegations, claiming: “I felt like I’d found a trick no one knows and did it as if I were playing a video game.”
He allegedly took advantage of an exploit in the system which enabled him to transfer funds from different user accounts into his own user account.
Roughly 7,700 users were affected, and the operator is reportedly going to compensate them.
The suspect placed the stolen coins into accounts on different crypto operator platforms and received payouts in different cryptocurrencies.
According to Monappy, the stolen Monacoins were kept in a system with an always-on internet connection and coins stored offline were not affected.
Interested in more crypto-related stories from Japan? Discover how Japan saw a huge rise in crypto money laundering cases throughout 2018.