Singaporean Man Charged for Identity Theft to Crypto Mine

Asia Blockchain Review
October 25, 2019
Singaporean Man Charged for Identity Theft to Crypto Mine

A man from Singapore has been indicted in the US for allegedly impersonating a game developer in order to utilize Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud computing systems to mine cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cointelegraph.

Charged with 14 Counts of Fraud

Ho Jun Jia, (also known as Matthew Ho), was indicted for eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He could face charges in the Seattle US Western District court if extradited.

According to the indictment, from October 2017 to February 2018, Ho used a combination of stolen identities and social engineering to take advantage of massive amounts of virtual computing power through AWS. He is accused of using that power to mine several different currencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

Millions of Dollars of Cloud Computing Exploited to Mine Crypto

One of the stolen accounts was reportedly from an undisclosed LA-based game developer. By using the identities and accounts of the developer, then contacting Amazon to grant him additional administrative privileges, the police believe Ho was able to reserve millions of dollars worth of VM instances with which he could mine the digital money.

“In the few months his scheme remained active, Ho consumed more than $5 million in unpaid cloud computing services with his mining operation and, for a brief period, was one of Amazon Web Services (AWS) largest consumers of data usage by volume,” prosecutors said.

“Some of the bills were paid by the California game developer’s financial staff before the fraud was detected.”

In addition to stealing the identity of a game developer, Ho also stole identities of a Texas man and an Indian businessman and used those accounts to reserve additional machines both on AWS and Google Cloud.


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