Ransomware: UK Court freezes 860,000 in Bitcoin on Bitfinex

After hearing that the owner may be linked to a ransomware scam, the business and property division of the British High Court instructed the exchange of cryptocurrency Bitfinex to freeze the bitcoin account containing the amount of 860,000. USD.

bitfinex
Image via masterthecrypto

Ransom of $ 950,000 in BTC

In a judgment released on January 17, a Court of Justice British requested a property ban in addition to a freeze on bitcoin, held on one of the iFinex group’s platforms, specifically the change Bitfinex.

An anonymous Canadian insurance company, which is the client of an unknown English insurer, was attacked by a ransomware attack. The hackers, the court said, succeeded in installing BitPaymer software on Canadian company computers, and then encrypting the data later.

The victims of the ransomware attack paid $ 950,000 in bitcoin to the perpetrator through an insurance company, according to a file published last week by the England and Wales High Court and the first New Money Review report. While some bitcoins was converted into fiat currencies, the rest seem to have been sent to an address on the Bitfinex platform.

Court decisions can bring legal precedent. The court’s decision to allow its business and property division to resolve the case could possibly pave the way for UK courts to consider cryptocurrencies as assets in subsequent lawsuits.

However, as reported in November 2019, UK Jurisdiction Taskforce confirms that cryptocurrencies “are considered the principle to become property, bringing the legal treatment of tokens following the awareness of general public”.

Bitfinex is listed as the defendants

Bitfinex and its parent company, iFinex, are listed as the defendants (“D4” and “D3,” respectively) in the records. However, the exchange said in a statement that it had worked with the claimant to track down bitcoin and is not currently considered to be involved in a crime.

A spokesman for the exchange declined to confirm whether Bitfinex provided KYC information for the account associated with the address. However, the court ruling states that Bitfinex will provide information as long as it has a court order to comply.

The judge imposed a deadline on January 18 for Bitfinex to turn over the information. A court database search did not reveal any additional records of the case.

The case will be worse for Bitfinex anti-money laundering service providers

The victims certainly sent the requested amount, namely 109.25 BTC, during October 10, 2019. After that, it took a minimum of 5 days for the insurance company to decode its 20 servers and ten days to make identical on its 1,000 personal computer systems.

At the same time, the victims contacted a famous cryptocurrency company: Chainalysis, which specializes in monitoring blockchain transactions.

In November 2019, a ransomware service attacked a Wisconsin-based IT company, Virtual Care Provider Inc., which provides cloud data storage, security, and access management services to more than 100 nursing homes across the United States. Unknown attackers encrypted all the data the company stored and demanded $ 14 million in ransom in bitcoin in exchange for a digital key needed to access the files.

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