BTC Wires

China Police Arrest Hackers Who Allegedly Pocketed $87 Million by Stealing Cryptocurrencies

BTC Wires: According to reports, the Chinese police have arrested three people in connection with an alleged cyber security breach that claimed bitcoins and other digital currencies valued at roughly $87 million. As per a report by China’s state controlled press body Xinhua, the hackers had apparently stolen a large sum of virtual currencies by compromising computer systems. The crime had first been brought to the notice of the police department by a victim from Xi’an in Northern China who complained of a cyber attack that led him to lose 100 million yuan (about $15 million) in a variety of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The police began investigating by setting up a task force which found out that the criminals had used remote hijacking to take control of crypto accounts of the victim, leaving very few footprints of the act. Three months after the investigation had been launched, the task force managed to identify one the suspects, called Zhou, taking the aid of reputed telecom and internet service providers in the country.  The authorities treaded carefully, choosing to track Zhou for two months and managed to spot two of his aides or accomplices by tapping his communication devices.

In total, it is suspected that the three arrested hackers had managed to steal a total of 600 million yuan or $87 million. They had broken into company-owned and personal network systems using unlawful means such hacking and cyber intrusion. The alleged hackers have been taken into custody and the police are continuing their investigations to find out if the amount the hackers pocketed is even higher than the whopping sum initially estimated.

China’s financial authorities have prohibited crypto trading completely after restrictive regulations were imposed in 2017. Since then, the China police have also been proactive in nipping all crypto-related crimes in the bud or as soon as they come to their notice. One of the major crypto crimes that have become common in China is crypto jacking, which involves the deployment of a malware in the victim’s computer to carry out crypto-mining without making it obvious. In addition, a lot of criminals have also been caught for stealing electricity to power crypto-mining. In July 2018, a joint law enforcement initiative also saw Chinese police arrest malware developers who had looted $2 million worth of cryptocurrencies by mining them on infected PCs. The police in Tianjin and Anhui have also made arrests in connection to crypto crimes such as stealing electricity for their mining rigs, which have also been confiscated by the police. Clearly, the number of crypto crimes in China is on the rise, but thankfully so is the proactivity of the police.