Former Ubiquiti Employee Sentenced to 6 Years for $2M Crypto Extortion


Former Ubiquiti Employee Sentenced to 6 Years in Jail for $2 Million Crypto Extortion Scheme

We regret to inform you that a former employee of Ubiquiti has been sentenced to six years in jail after being found guilty of orchestrating a crypto extortion scheme during his tenure at the company. Nickolas Sharp, 37, exploited his position as a senior developer to carry out the illegal activities.

The arrest of Sharp took place in December 2021 when it was discovered that he had posed as an anonymous hacker and whistleblower, attempting to extort nearly $2 million worth of cryptocurrency from Ubiquiti. He used his insider access to steal confidential data and sent an anonymous email demanding a ransom of 50 bitcoins (equivalent to about $2 million at the time) in exchange for returning the stolen information.

Rather than complying with the ransom demand, Ubiquiti promptly involved law enforcement agencies. Through their joint efforts, Sharp was identified as the perpetrator after investigators traced a VPN connection back to a Surfshark account, which had been purchased using his PayPal account.

The U.S. Justice Department highlighted the extent of Sharp's misconduct, stating that he repeatedly abused his administrative privileges to download gigabytes of sensitive data from the company. Moreover, he tampered with log retention policies and altered session file names to mislead and shift blame onto his coworkers.

Sharp also falsely denied any involvement in the extortion scheme and fabricated a story about the company being hacked by an unknown individual with administrator access to Ubiquiti's AWS accounts. This baseless claim caused Ubiquiti's stock price to plummet by approximately 20% in March 2021, resulting in a loss of over $4 billion in market capitalization.

In addition to the six-year prison sentence, Sharp has been sentenced to three years of supervised release. He is also obligated to pay restitution of $1,590,487 and forfeit any personal property that was used or intended to be used in connection with his criminal activities.

We hope that this resolution brings some closure to Ubiquiti and its stakeholders. The company remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and security, and this unfortunate incident serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and proactive measures in protecting sensitive information.

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