Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, and James Peraire-Bueno, 28, with a $25 million cryptocurrency heist.

Authorities said the heist, which took place in April 2023, was "the first of its kind so far." They reportedly stole $25 million in just 12 seconds by fraudulently accessing pending transactions and altering the movement of cryptocurrency. 

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The two brothers, who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reportedly used their computer and math education to bypass Ethereum's process of verifying money transfer transactions.

The arrested brothers are alleged to have fraudulently accessed pending private transfer transactions and seized Ethereum investors' cryptocurrencies. 

By exploiting a vulnerability in the code of software called MEV-boost, which is used by most Ethereum network "validators" responsible for checking that new transactions are valid before they are added to the blockchain, prosecutors said the brothers took steps to launder and hide the stolen cryptocurrency instead of returning the funds.