Two hackers stole around $ 700,000 worth of Bitcoin from a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, CoinExchange
The Metropolitan Police Department’s cybercrime unit has arrested Yuto Onitsuka, 25, and Takuma Sasaki, 28, who was suspected of stealing 78 million yen of Bitcoin, equivalent to about $ 710,000. The theft is possible for former employees Onitsuka, who knew the login credentials to access CoinExchange’s wallet. The small market operator was closed in late 2019, after accruing losses due to the bear market. The two hackers then transferred funds to two accounts held on cryptocurrency exchanges inside and outside Japan.
Two suspects stole Bitcoin from CoinExchange
The theft occurred in October 2018, about a year before the exchange closed when Bitcoin had stabilized around $ 6,400. The BTC stolen was monitored for foreign and domestic exchanges, thus identifying the culprit.
The two were suspected of accessing the account of a Tokyo-based virtual money management company on CoinExchange and stole about 78 million bitcoin from the account. The stolen bitcoin has been transferred to two accounts managed by suspects on domestic and foreign exchanges.
Onitsuka and Sasaki are said to never met each other, and only communicate via cryptocurrency-related bulletin boards. Sasaki used the login credentials to request a withdrawal of BTC from one of the exchange’s hot wallets.
Some stolen cryptocurrencies were believed to have been exchanged for cash, deposited into a Sasaki’s bank account. Sasaki has withdrawn about 6 million yen from the account and spent money on travel and other purposes.
The Bitcoin firm’s business
Sources said that Onitsuka wanted to bankrupt the company because of internal struggles and disagreements. The theft of about 100 BTC at a price of 2018 is relatively small compared to other exchange scams. But the involvement of an employee suggests that heists are sometimes easier explained to the human element and have access to hot or cold wallets.
There is no record of CoinExchange publicly disclosing the loss, while the report stated that Tokyo police opened an investigation after the crypto company reported the theft. There are several reasons CoinExchange may have chosen not to go public. One of these is that it is likely to cause panic for leading users to withdraw their money.
Questions were asked when the exchange closed a year later because of financial difficulties. In a statement issued shortly after the company’s board made its decision to close in October, CoinExchange excluded any security breach because this is the reason for the closure. Instead, the Bitcoin company claims only that it has become economically inactive.
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