In the United States, two brothers were arrested for stealing $25 million in cryptocurrency using a vulnerability in Ethereum validator software. The defendants had been planning the blockchain exploit for several months.

The US Department of Justice has charged brothers Anton and James Peraire-Bueno with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the indictment, the brothers, who studied computer science and mathematics at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, used the skills they acquired during their studies, as well as their experience in trading cryptocurrencies, to manipulate the protocols through which transactions are verified and added to the Ethereum blockchain.

The defendants fraudulently obtained access to pending private transactions and used it to modify certain transactions and obtain their victims' cryptocurrency. The brothers planned the exploit for months, then stole $25 million in just twelve seconds.

US authorities said the brothers refused requests to return the stolen funds and hid the assets using shell companies and foreign crypto exchanges, transferring them to multiple wallets. If convicted, they face up to twenty years in prison.

Earlier, the team behind the crypto lending protocol Sonne Finance announced that it had lost at least $20 million because an attacker was able to exploit a vulnerability in some smart contracts.