In the later part of 2018, the Monacoin wallet and the Monappy Japanese social media network were hacked. Recently, a breakthrough occurred in the case as a teenager was arrested and charged for stealing over $125,000 worth of cryptocurrency.
When news broke that Monacoin suffered from third-party access, people were surprised. Everything seemed to have been connected with a Monappy hack. Both of the incidents were related but it took a lot of time to figure out what happened. As a result, a Utsunomiya, Tochigi resident, 18 years old, was arrested.
The name of the teenager was not disclosed but it was confirmed that he attacked Monappy between August 14 and September 1, 2018. He used Tor, a smartphone and basic skills in order to gain access. As a result, 73,000 Monacoins ended up being stolen from 7,700 network users.
According to investigators, the “gift code: feature of Monappy was taken advantage of. He sent himself numerous Monacoins and then used the exact same gift code in a repeat fashion. The exploit was really simple and should have been discovered during testing. Monappy did release data about the transactions. Then, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police identified the hacker.
Tor was used for the hack but the teenager did not manage to remain anonymous. It is not mentioned how he was discovered but we do know that Tor is not foolproof when it comes to maintaining anonymity.
The arrest marks the first ever Japanese arrested in a cryptocurrency-related hacking attempt. Others were arrested in the past but those incidents were all about ransomware and malware.
Japan is now witnessing a boom in the adoption of cryptocurrency. Such behavior is thus expected. What should be known is that the identity of a more experienced hacker would not have been discovered so both Monappy and Monacoin need to make security upgrades.