Chinese police arrested and detained three individuals suspected to be cryptocurrency hackers. The police believe that the trio managed to steal up to $87 million in Bitcoin and other cryptos.
Hacking attacks of Xian, China
Three men have been recently arrested in China under suspicion of being the thieves responsible for stealing large amounts of cryptocurrencies. The rough estimates say that the amount stolen by the three supposed thieves is approximately $87 million, or 600 million yuan. According to reports from the local media, these funds were stolen through hacking attacks targeting corporate and personal computers.
The law enforcement in Shaanxi province’s capital, Xian, has described this as the highest value cryptocurrency criminal investigation in the country’s history. One officer commented that their bureau has never had to deal with this kind of a case before.
The investigation of the incident began back in March after one of the attackers’ victims from Xian complained about their computer being hacked. According to the complaint, the hackers have stolen around 100 million yuan ($15 million) in the form of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) from the victim.
Supposed thieves worked for internet firms
The investigation continued through the following months, and the police eventually uncovered the three suspects among the employees of top internet companies. According to the investigators, all three of them have a lot of tech experience, but the firms employing the thieves were not disclosed at this time.
After stealing digital money, it would seem that the hackers split the funds into smaller portions and then attempted to sell them through multiple transactions to cover their tracks and avoid detection. However, the police IT sector collected large amounts of data and analyzed it to try and find the parties responsible.
In doing so, they managed to identify one of the suspects, found to be a resident of the Hunan province called Zhao. Tracking down the other two suspects took a bit longer, but the authorities managed to identify them as Zhang, from the province of Jilin, and Cui, who is a resident of Beijing.
The suspects were put under constant surveillance and eventually detained during coordinated raids. This occurred last Wednesday, and the country’s authorities claim that the investigation is still ongoing.
With the increase in popularity of cryptos in China, cybercrime seems to be growing ever more popular as well. The country has seen a large spike in crypto-related disputes. In fact, reports claim that the courts are completely overwhelmed by such cases. Due to the fact that the country still doesn’t have proper regulations, the courts are having a hard time dealing with them. The fact that crypto trading and ICOs are still banned in the country is also not helping matters.