As cryptocurrency has grown in the global market, so has crypto-related crime. However, this crime is seen as new high as three men have been held in China over almost $90 million stolen in cryptocurrency. The arrest was recently made in Xian.
Where it All Started
The investigation into the theft began in March his year when a man reported to the authorities that his computer has been hacked into. The hack had resulted in a theft of bitcoin worth the equivalent of 100 million yuan.
According to an office related to the case:
“Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before. It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi.”
Cryptocrime, like all cybercrime, is distinct from typical crimes in that they are harder to track and prosecute. This occurs every day with cryptocurrency owners having their wallets hacked and their funds were stolen.
This heist, however, valued at $87 million, is the largest theft of cryptocurrency every recorded. Officers working on the case have stated that the use of crypto technology made investigations harder.
How it Was Stolen
The perpetrators of the crime were hardly tech novices. According to investigations, they had been studying hacking since they were pre-teens and had even worked with top internet firms.
After stealing the funds, they split the funds into smaller figures and then made a number of transactions to cover their tracks and avoid being discovered.
How they were caught
The police investing the case analyzed thousands of pieces of investigation before finding leads in the case.
They then contacted various local internet companies to help identify potential suspects. The first suspect to be identified as a man named Zhou who was from the Hunan province. Two other suspects were picked up months later. The men were named Cui from Beijing and Zhang from the Jilin province.
The three men were observed for months and then a coordinated raid was conducted on Wednesday and the men were arrested and detained and investigations are still ongoing.
Cases like this illustrate the risks associated with cryptocurrency, mostly the risk of hacking. There have been a number of measures taken by cryptocurrency wallet operators to better secure cryptocurrencies and this is yet another reminder that there is still work to be done.