Chinese police arrest hackers behind $ 87 million of cryptocurrency theft


Chinese police arrested three alleged hackers accused of stealing bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies worth $ 87 million.

According to a report by Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency, the police in Xi'an city in the north China began investigating a complaint from a victim who alleged that hackers had compromised his computer to steal 100 million yuan (about $ 15 million) in cryptocurrencies that included bitcoin, ethereum and others.

An investigation revealed that hackers had used remote hijacking techniques to gain access and control of the cryptocurrency accounts belonging to the victim – identified only as Zhang – with almost no footprint of the crime.

The investigation progressed and three months later, the task force was able to identify a suspect, named Zhou, with the help of "well known" Internet companies in China. The authorities kept their distance and started to monitor Zhou's activities for another two months. In a short time, the police identified two other accomplices investigating Zhou's communication.

The three suspects were accused of stealing about 600 million yuan initially (about $ 87 million) targeting corporate and personal network systems through a variety of illegal media including cyber-intrusion and 39; hacking, police complaint.

Zhou, who belongs to the central Chinese province of Hunan, is currently in custody along with his two alleged accomplices. Despite the staggering value of the stolen cryptocurrencies involved in the alleged theft, the police of three provinces continue to work together in a still ongoing investigation. It remains to be seen whether the value of the stolen criptales exceeds the current police initial estimate.

While financial authorities in China effectively banned the trade in cryptocurrencies following paralyzing regulations in 2017, Chinese police also rushed to repress cryptography related criminal activity, including encryption – a technique in which malware it is used on a victim's computer to stealthily sabotage cryptocurrency and theft of electricity for encryption operations.

In July, a joint effort by the Chinese authorities led to the arrest of malware developers who have accumulated $ 2 million in cryptocurrency allegedly extracting them through one million infected computers in the country.

In recent months, police in Tianjin City and Anhui Province have also arrested cryptocurrency miners for stealing electricity to upgrade their mining rigs, equipment that was seized by the author

Close-up image of Shutterstock.

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