Nham Hoang Khang is escorted by police in Ho Chi Minh City on January 6, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen
A Ho Chi Minh City hacker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly VND300 million ($12,782) from the owner of a cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Nham Hoang Khang was charged with extortion and forced to return stolen money, the HCMC People’s Court ruled on Friday.
In 2018, Vu Ngoc Chau created the website t-rex.exchange to allow people wishing to buy or sell cryptocurrencies to connect with each other and execute transactions for a fee. To do so, you will need to sign up for an account and submit certain information such as your phone number, email address, image, and ID card.
In October 2020, Khang used his phone to sign up for multiple accounts on the exchange platform’s website. He discovers that the website has several vulnerabilities that can be hacked to steal both data and cryptocurrency.
In November 2020, Khang carried out a cyberattack to control the accounts of T-Rex employees and stole approximately 30,000 USDT (approximately VND685 million, or equivalent to $29,186). A technician noticed the unusual transaction and locked the account to prevent the cryptocurrency from being sold.
Upon discovering that the account was locked, Khang entered T-Rex’s Telegram chat group and requested that the account be reactivated, but his request was denied.
Khang then hacked and stole information from the platform’s 29,000 customers, created a large number of fake orders, and threatened to carry out an even larger attack. He demanded his $20,000. Otherwise, it will reveal to the world that the exchange platform has been hacked.
According to authorities, Chau had been threatened multiple times, so he gave in and told his employees to send Kang 300 million VND. In mid-2021, Chow filed a complaint with authorities regarding the incident.
Virtual currencies are not allowed in Vietnam.