Police arrested three men in connection to the biggest Bitcoin heist in China that totaled $87 million.
Hacking has been a thorn in the side of cryptocurrency for quite some time. Earlier this year, it seemed that every week brought news of another exchange getting hacked. Now a number of individuals and companies in China have found themselves the targets of cybercriminals looking to steal Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Police have recently rounded up three individuals that looted 600 million yuan ($87 million) worth of virtual currencies.
Largest Crypto Theft in China
Chinese media are saying that the recent Bitcoin heists are the largest to have happened in the country. The entire situation began when a man in the city of Xian notified law enforcement that hackers had gotten into his computer and stole $15 million worth of ETH and BTC. Eventually, other victims of the hackers came forward.
Police began investigating the theft back in May but found it difficult due to the technical complexity involved. Plus, one police officer noted:
Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before. It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi.
Law enforcement had to analyze 30,000 pieces of information before being able to identify their first suspect. They then went on a prolonged stakeout and monitored the suspect for two months before he led them to two more culprits.
Once police believed that they had located all the suspects involved in the Bitcoin heists, they moved in and arrested all three during coordinated raids.
Needless to say, such thefts are a prime warning to keep your cryptocurrency safely secured in cold storage.
Chinese Police Are Being Kept Busy
This heist is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cryptocurrency crimes in China. Just last month, police in South China arrested more than 540 people associated with an illegal gambling platform using Bitcoin. The platform was used for people to wager on soccer games during the FIFA World Cup.
In April, law enforcement confiscated 600 Bitcoin mining machines. The Chinese government has been cracking down severely on cryptocurrency mining, and the computers were seized after irregular energy use was noticed.
Another 200 computers were confiscated in June. The computers were being used to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum. The owner of the computers had decided to dodge paying the electric bill once he realized how much it was ($927 a day), so he short-circuited the meter. He managed to steal 150,000 kW hours of power before being caught by authorities.
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