HCMC hacker jailed for robbing cryptocurrency exchange platform

By Hai Duyen   January 6, 2023 | 04:01 pm PT
HCMC hacker jailed for robbing cryptocurrency exchange platform
Nham Hoang Khang is escorted by the police in HCMC, January 6, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen
A hacker in Ho Chi Minh City was sentenced to 10 years in jail for stealing around VND300 million ($12,782) from the owner of a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Nham Hoang Khang was charged with extortion and forced to return the money he stole, the HCMC People’s Court sentenced Friday.

In 2018, Vu Ngoc Chau created the website t-rex.exchange, allowing those who wish to buy and sell cryptocurrencies to connect with one another and perform transactions at a fee. People must sign up for accounts and submit certain information, like phone numbers, email addresses, images and ID cards in order to do so.

In October 2020, Khang used his phone to sign up for multiple accounts on the exchange platform’s website. He discovered that the website had several vulnerabilities, which could allow him to hack it and steal both data and cryptocurrency.

In November 2020, Khang performed a cyberattack to gain control of the account of a T-Rex employee, stealing around 30,000 USDT (amounting to around VND685 million or $29,186). Technicians noticed abnormal transactions and locked down the account to prevent the cryptocurrency from being sold.

Once he found the account had been locked, Khang entered T-Rex’s Telegram chat group and demanded that the account be reopened, but his request was denied.

Khang then hacked and stole information from 29,000 customers of the platform, creating fake orders in large numbers, and threatening to perform an even larger attack. He demanded $20,000, or he would reveal to the world that the exchange platform had been hacked.

Authorities said Chau was threatened multiple times, and so he caved and told his employees to send Khang VND300 million. In mid-2021, Chau sent a complaint to authorities regarding the incident.

Cryptocurrency is not recognized in Vietnam.

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