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$900,000 worth of Bitcoin allegedly embezzled by a ShapeShift Employee

August 29, 2020

ShapeShift, a Crypto firm filed legal action against a previous employee from their engineering team who allegedly stole over 90 Bitcoin from its account, as shown by documents.

Bitcoin has been stolen for Six Months

His ex-employer now blames a former senior software engineer from Shapeshift, Azamat Mukhiddinov, hired in August 2018 to set up an illegal program that tapped off Bitcoin from Shapeshift’s corporate accounts to an exterior, private wallet.

According to the documents, it was between November 2019 and May 2020 that the act was committed as Azamat made away with 90 Bitcoin during the time but was trapped after ShapeShift used an “a tremendous amount of its internal and external resources” to catch the offender.

On May 25, Azamat was finally confronted by Shapeshift and reportedly confessed to the theft. He also admitted to having already spent some of the embezzled Bitcoin and converting it to dollars.

“Eventually, Azamat returned, in one form or another, all of the $900,000 in bitcoin he had stolen,” alleged ShapeShift.

The company is now seeking restitution for the direct costs it took for pursuing Azamat down. ShapeShift noted that its staff had to redraft the code, lock ShapeShift’s software, and “undertake thorough remediation of the Company’s computer networks, software, and infrastructure,” justifying the amount sought.

The firm said:

“In total, ShapeShift’s costs and expenses relating to the investigation of Azamat’s theft and the repair of its effects totaled tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.”

Security expert intercedes

The founder of privacy protocol Hush, Jonathan “Duke” Leto, together with a software engineer, told that the very act of an employee stealing 0.5 Bitcoin daily for months was a red flag that should have been caught at the first occurrence.

On a further note, he added the crime showed that ShapeShift had “very little backend monitoring because Azamat was stealing Bitcoin every day for months,” and that the firm was fortunate to find the perpetrator before he “emptied all their funds and disappeared.”

In the meantime, ShapeShift, Erik Vorhees, pondered in with his account to Leto’s comments, approving that all user funds on ShapeShift funds are stowed in non-custodial wallets, and such a security feature has been applied by design.

As of this moment, the case is still on going.

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