Business 24 October 2018Erik Gibbs
Call of Duty players steal $3 million in crypto
A group of gamers hatched a plan to target cryptocurrency wallets and are now looking for ways to hide from the long arm of the law. According to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times, the group had met playing the Call of Duty video game and developed a scheme to hack into the wallets of unsuspecting crypto holders. They were able to walk away with over $3 million in crypto, but law enforcement officers are now close behind and are closing in.
The news outlet was able to review unsealed court documents related to the hacks, which indicated that the band of thieves worked in tandem to gain access to users’ smartphones. They have yet to be charged with any crimes, but the ongoing investigation is going to make sure those involved are held accountable.
The hacks were uncovered by Augur, a decentralized platform where users can place wagers on a variety of world events. Augur discovered that its digital currency, the Reputation Token (REP), was being stolen and contacted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI launched an investigation that led to the revelation that around $805,000 in REP had been stolen, and which has already nabbed one member of the gang.
The thief, under interrogation by the agency, acknowledged his participation and confirmed that he met the co-conspirators while playing Call of Duty. However, he asserted that he was an unwilling participant. He said that he was forced into it after being swatted, a term that describes when someone calls law enforcement to falsely accuse someone of a crime.
The unidentified individual allegedly helped the group break into over 100 smartphones in order to steal the digital currency. He continued to claim his innocence, telling the FBI, “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.”
The bumbling criminals obviously weren’t very adept in the art of thievery. They discussed their actions through online chat sessions associated with the Call of Duty game, which have been recorded. That information, along with the ease with which IP addresses can be determined and located, will go a long way in ensuring that the gang is corralled in short order.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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