A Singaporean man faces a 34-year jail sentence after being charged for running a cryptocurrency mining operation using stolen identity data to gain access to cloud computing services.
Ho Jun Jia, also known as Matthew Ho, was charged under an indictment of 14 counts, allegedly for mining digital assets using stolen Amazon Web Servies (AWS) and Google Cloud computing power. Ho paid for these services using credit card and indentity data stolen from multiple victims in California and Texas. The indictment explained:
HO used victims' personal and stolen credit card information, along with phony email addresses, which he created, designed to spoof the authentic email account of identity-theft victims, to open accounts and to obtain access to cloud computing services.
Bitcoin and Ether Mined
The indictment added that Ho used his access to these computing services to mine cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which was sold and exchanged for fiat currency through online vendor websites. While the indictment didn’t disclose the amount of money made through these operations, it claimed that Ho consumed more than $5 million in unpaid cloud computing services.
Indeed, a U.S. Department of Justice press release said that for a brief period during the few months Ho’s scheme was active, it was one of AWS’s largest consumers of data by volume.
The charges in the indicment remain allegations and the case is still being investigated by the Seattle office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ho faces a total of 34 years in prison – up to 20 years for wire fraud, up to 10 years for access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft all to run consecutively.
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