The cybercrime department of the Turkish national police arrested 11 suspects in an alleged crackdown of encrypted accounts, with victims reporting losses of over $ 80,000, according to Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, on Friday 2 November.
According to the article, 14 people reported to local authorities of the accusation that their cryptographic portfolios were violated with their Bitcoin (BTC) transferred to other portfolios. Following complaints, the Istanbul police started an investigation into a group of hackers who allegedly compromised user emails, cryptocurrency account data and passwords.
On 26 October, agents of the cybercrime unit arrested 11 people in various locations in Istanbul following joint raids with the Harekat police of the special operations department. Ten suspects were taken into custody, one of which was released on condition that they remain under further "judicial controls". The police also seized two false identity cards from alleged hackers, along with a number of devices supposedly used in hacks like 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 22 memory sticks and other items.
According to Turkish prosecutors, the amount of stolen Bitcoins is worth about 437,000 Turkish lira, or more than $ 80,000. The group of attackers would have transferred stolen encryption to multiple accounts in an attempt to cover their tracks before selling it later for the fiat.
During the investigation, the cybercrime unit identified some suspects by tracking the new SIM card numbers registered by the accounts of the encryption accounts. Police officers also tracked down suspects who attempted to withdraw stolen assets from ATMs and banks based on multiple security camera records. The article says that the investigation is underway, with cops looking for other victims of hackers.
In August of this year, Cointelegraph reported the collapse of the Turkish lira, causing more interest on the part of the Turks in the purchase of decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). The lira decreased by 50% compared to the US dollar by August 2018, seeing historical lows due to geopolitical factors.
On August 22nd, police in California arrested an alleged hacker who stole Bitcoin worth more than $ 1 million by hijacking mobile phones. The assailant, Xzavyer Narvaez, would have used the "exchange SIM" method, also known as "take out scam", to steal encryption from victims' devices.
In October, the media press agency supported by Media Media, Motherboard, reported that the Oklahoma City authorities arrested a man allegedly considered one of the "most notorious" SIM dealers who had reported stealing numbers of cell phone and used them in cryptocurrency theft. The hacker Joseph Harris, 21, is accused of stealing $ 14 million in the crypt from the blockchain startup Crowd Machine.