- Hacker was arrested last week by Europol
- 99 percent of the funds recovered
- Hacker was not able to free the money
IOTA Foundation has recovered the funds stolen by a hacker in January 2018. The lone hacker was arrested last week by a combined contingent of a special British police crime unit (SEROCU), NCA, German Police and Europol for money laundering and stealing crypto from at least 85 victims.
IOTA co-founder and board co-chairman Dominik Schiener told Reuters during an interview they had recovered at least 99 percent of the funds that were stolen from investor wallets and that only a small amount was still missing. Dominik said the funds are being held by the police to be used as evidence during the prosecution of the perpetrator.
Crime surged 400 Percent in 2018
The official gave full disclosure of the lost funds and lauded the European Law enforcement agency, Europol for aiding the recovery of the stolen funds. Dominik stated:
“From what we know, just a small amount of the 10 million euros has not been found […] the exchanges have blocked the hacker’s accounts. He tried to free the money, but he did not succeed.”
Cryptocurrency-related crime surged over 400 percent in 2018 alone with investors losing over $1.7 billion. Europol got involved following the increase of hacking attacks involving IOTA wallets that were reported in Hessen, Germany, leading to the arrest. The investigations began in earnest in winter 2018 after which the investigators unearthed fraud acting on the iotaseed.io website which has specifically designed for IOTA investors.
German and British Agencies cooperation with Europol
IOTA wallets have a safety mechanism that works via a seed using 81 digits which were created using seed-generations random password generator website, iotaseed.io, for around five months available on the internet. Apparently, the hacker knew when the victims created crypto wallets on the website using new seeds, and he copied them automatically and later used them to steal the victims IOTA crypto coins.
German legal agencies spotted the prospective suspect in the UK in mid-summer 2018 before they transferred the case to J-CAT, Europol’s special department that deals with cyber-crime. Europol contacted investigators in the UK with whom they exchanged data leading to last week’s arrest in Oxford.
Reports that IOTA users had become targets of hackers vie seed generating websites iotaseed.co and iotaseed.net. Surfaced in January 2018.
A considerable number of holders noticed their MIOTA coins were missing from their wallets even though they hadn’t done any outgoing transactions. Following the increase of the attacks, the Berlin-based IOTA has proceeded to partner with hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger to create the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet enables users to protect the private keys for their IOTA tokens.