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This is how two brothers stole $25 million in crypto assets in 12 seconds

This is how two brothers stole $25 million in crypto assets in 12 seconds

$25 million in 12 seconds

Two brothers, James Berer-Bueno and Anton Berer-Bueno, have been charged in the US after they allegedly stole $25 million worth of cryptocurrency assets in just 12 seconds.

The crime involved the Ethereum blockchain and, according to authorities, its type This was the first fraud of its kind. According to prosecutors, the perpetrators identified a vulnerability in the Ethereum blockchain (which has since been patched with an update) that allowed them to use external bots to identify pending cryptocurrency transactions of higher value before they entered the blockchain. They then posed as auditors using bots and stole $25 million by redirecting pending transactions, the indictment said. To hide the fraud, the brothers set up front companies and used several private cryptocurrency addresses and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges.

After executing their plan, the robbery took only 12 seconds

Manhattan District Attorney Damian Williams said.

Although the robbery was completed in seconds, it was preceded by months of planning that began in December 2022 and was completed in April 2023, according to the indictment. In an online document, the brothers reportedly summarized their four-step plan in the following points:

  1. Taste
  2. Open the block
  3. search
  4. distribution

This case calls into question the integrity of blockchain

– It is said in the video below.

According to the news, international law enforcement agencies have so far frozen $3 million in stolen assets, while the perpetrators converted the rest into the DAI token pegged to the dollar.

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James, who lives in New York, and Anton, who lives in Boston, were arrested on Tuesday. The charges are conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Court hearings were held in New York and Boston on Wednesday. Judges set bail at $250,000 each, barring the perpetrators from trading cryptocurrencies, securities and commodities.

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Both perpetrators attended the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and their father, Jaime Perer, is a professor and former head of the university's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

We are shocked, we don't even know what's going on

Jaime Perer said To CNBCwhen he was contacted at his home in Massachusetts and asked about the arrest of 28-year-old James and 24-year-old Anton.

According to prosecutors, their education also helped the perpetrators acquire the skills needed to commit fraud.

  • James Berer Bueno graduated from MIT in June 2019 with bachelor's degrees in mathematics, computer science, and aeronautical engineering, followed by master's degrees in aeronautics and astronautics in June 2021. During his college years, he was a member of the MIT sailing team.
  • Anton Berrer-Bueno received his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from MIT in February. He was a member of the university's rowing team.

If the brothers are convicted of all three charges, they face up to 20 years in prison.

Cover image source: Shutterstock

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