In a recent interview with Reuters, IOTA Co-founder and Co-Chairman of its Board, Dominik Schiener, stated that a good percentage of the stolen $11 Million MIOTA tokens taken from users’ wallets had been recovered. He also explained that the funds are being held by the authorities as evidence against the sole perpetrator of the ‘heist’.
He further explained that crypto exchanges managed to block the hacker’s accounts before he had disposed of the funds.
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.
Mr. Schiener further told Reuters that the foundation thought the theft had been pulled off by a group of hackers as is the norm with cyber crime related to digital assets. After the investigations and arrest by Europol of a 36 year old man from Oxford England, it is now clear that he acted alone. Schiener also expressed his astonishment that the individual had a normal job and is well educated.
How the Hack Was Carried Out and Investigations Leading to an Arrest
The investigations begun in early 2018 after IOTA investors and users notified Hessen State Police (Germany) that funds were being stolen from their cryptocurrency wallets. Preliminary investigations led to a website where the cyber crime was being carried out. The site, IOTASeed.io, tricked users into creating seeds for their wallets while at the same time keeping records of these 81 digit codes. Once recorded, the man behind the site would then access the victim’s wallets and transfer their coins to other wallets created using fake IDs.
In mid 2018, German authorities tracked the activities to a suspect living in the United Kingdom. The case was then forwarded to the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). The latter authority was able to coordinate the different EU member states affected by the crime and arrest the suspect.
At least 85 individuals were affected by the theft of the tokens.
What are your thoughts of a lone hacker carrying out such a massive theft of IOTA tokens? Is the potential future value of digital assets inspiring crypto related crimes? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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