Another cryptocurrency theft is in the books. Three people were arrested in Bulgaria accused of stealing cryptocurrency funds worth more than $ 5 million.
The cryptographic arena has always been exploited with theft and virtual resources seem to attract some of the most evil players in the industry. Two of the biggest thefts in recent years that probably come to mind include Mt. Gox in February 2014 and Coincheck last January, both in Japan.
Gox – widely regarded as the biggest bitcoin exchange at the moment – was the victim of a hack that has seen virtually disappearance of over $ 400 million of BTC funds from one day to another. To date, many questions regarding the hacks have remained unanswered, and Mark Karpeles, CEO of the exchange, eventually spent more than a year in a Japanese prison for his alleged role in the scandal.
For almost four years, the mountain. Gox held the record for the biggest cryptocurrency attack in history to Coincheck in January 2018. More than $ 500 million of encrypted funds disappeared, prompting the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) to participate in the regulation and surveillance of the crypto trade in the country. Later the FSA started sending warning letters to all trading platforms based in Japan and said that if they did not activate their security protocols to prevent further attacks, they would be permanently closed.
Details of the theft
Even if this last robbery is not exactly at the same level as the Mount. Gox or Coincheck, it's a bad memory that the cryptocurrency scene remains vulnerable and open to attack, and that security measures are not yet where they should be.
A statement on the robbery was released by the Bulgarian Public Prosecutor's Office on Monday November 26, 2018, which explained that the local police had taken three men into custody on charges of cryptocurrency theft. At the time of printing, it is claimed that the amount stolen by individuals exceeds $ 5 million. However, about 3 million dollars of that money have already been recovered.
In addition, authorities say they have seized a $ 34,000 car owned by one of the individuals. It is believed that the vehicle was purchased using stolen encrypted funds. The arrests come after the prosecution has launched an investigation into the matter five months ago in June. Representatives say this is the first such case in Bulgaria or in Europe.
Things are becoming more dangerous
Prosecutors say that the alleged thieves were highly qualified in coding and related IT, which allowed them to collect the encrypted funds for so long without being noticed. Since then, the police broke into the three men's main position and seized several pieces of equipment, including hard drives, desktop computers and a series of notebooks containing a legion of false and legitimate accounts that the police say men were using to store the cryptocurrency. So far, only one of the men has published the bail (about $ 29,000).
The cybersecurity company CypherTrace has recently published a report suggesting that about $ 1 billion of cryptocurrency has been stolen since the start of the year – about 250 percent since 2017. It also claims that about 97 percent of the trade Bitcoin and cryptocurrency takes place via unregulated exchanges, making investors and traders even more susceptible to thieves.
Some more recent instances
Recent examples of similar thefts covered by Blockonomi include a SIM exchange case where the telephone number of a Northern California resident was used to steal money from his Coinbase and Gemini accounts. It is estimated that the thief stole up to $ 1 million and only $ 300,000 was recovered at the time of printing.
In addition, a Brooklyn-based man is now facing up to five years in prison for allegedly selling fake initial coin offerings (ICOs) to unsuspecting clients.