Cops: 'Ethical Hacker' Was Anything But

Aaron Motta of Florida accused of robbing customer of nearly $600K in cryptocurrency
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2022 2:30 AM CDT
Cops: 'Ethical Hacker' Was Anything But
Aaron Daniel Motta.   (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Police say a tech expert listed as a "certified ethical hacker" on LinkedIn fell a wee bit short in the ethics department while working with a senior citizen. The Clearwater Police Department says 27-year-old Aaron Daniel Motta robbed nearly $600,000 in cryptocurrency from a customer who hired Motta to set up tech security in his home, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Authorities say Motta stole the customer's hardware wallet—a physical device on which the man's private keys were stored as a means of safeguarding them. Deputies say Motta found the man's password to the wallet in the home as well, then transferred the crypto to multiple wallets that he controlled, per WFLA.

The arrest affidavit says Motta tried to cover his tracks by making multiple transactions, but authorities were able to track the $575,910 to his wallets, reports Fox13News. Motta faces felony charges of grand theft and offenses against computer users. His various online resumés list him as an IT manager, former cyber security engineer, a "CyberSec analyst," and the aforementioned "certified ethical hacker." (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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