Chinese police arrest hackers in $87M crypto theft

Three hackers who allegedly stole an estimated 600 million yuan ($87.6 million) in cryptocurrencies have been detained by police in the city of Xi’an in Northwestern China.

The South China Morning Post quoted an officer as saying, “Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before… It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi [Province].”

The theft first came to light back in March, when a man claimed that his computer had been hacked, and 100 million yuan worth of ETH and BTC were stolen, according to the news outlet.

Investigators said the three suspects started hacking at a young age and worked in some top internet firms, which were not named. The three divided the stolen cryptocurrencies into smaller units, splitting the amount between them in a discreet manner, but police, with help of experts, managed to trace the transactions to the first suspect, named Zhou from Hunan Province. It took another two months before the two other suspects, a Cui from Beijing and a Zhang in Jilin Province, were discovered, and all three were apprehended in coordinated raids last August 15.

Reports of cryptocurrency-related hacks have become more common, in China as we all as the rest of the globe. Just last week, U.S. entrepreneur Michael Terpin filed a lawsuit against telecommunications giant AT&T, after he claimed hackers managed to access his phone account and obtain his private keys, resulting in the loss of $24 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

In China, incidences have risen of malware for purposes of using an infected computer’s power to mine cryptocurrencies. In July, police arrested 20 people in connection with cryptojacking activities where a total of 15 million yuan ($2.19 million) had been generated.

Another group of alleged hackers in the country managed to mine $800,000 worth of digital currency in 2017 using similar methods, before police arrested the suspects.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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