Turkish police have taken 11 people into custody for allegedly stealing over $80,000 in Bitcoin via hacking.
It seems that every time you load up a news site, another story on hacking appears. With so many people storing their cryptocurrency on exchanges or in hot wallets, there’s always the risk of some hacker managing to get their grubby hands on your stash of crypto. From SIM swapping to email phishing, there are lots of ways for hackers to get access to your account. However, law enforcement does sometimes catch these criminals, allowing justice to be served. Case in point is that police in Turkey have arrested 11 people for stealing over $80,000 in Bitcoin.
Hacks, Stolen Bitcoin, and Arrests
Law enforcement in Istanbul was contacted by 14 individuals who filed complaints of having their Bitcoin stolen. According to the victims, their user emails, passwords, and cryptocurrency wallets were compromised, allowing the criminals to pilfer the bitcoins.
The Cybercrime Unit of the Turkish National Police said that the hackers stole 437,000 Turkish lira in bitcoins, which is just over $80,000 USD. The hackers moved the stolen bitcoins around to different wallets before converting them to fiat.
However, the police were able to find the culprits by tracking a phone number that one of the criminals used to register with a trading platform. The suspects were then tracked by the police and recorded as they attempted to withdraw the funds from banks and ATMs.
Police then conducted a series of coordinated raids to arrest the 11 individuals responsible for the criminal acts. 10 of those arrested remain in custody while another was released. Overall, police confiscated 22 memory sticks, 3 hard disks, 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 2 fake identity cards, and other devices.
Bitcoin Popular in Turkey
It’s little wonder that cryptocurrency is popular in Turkey. The country is seeing its highest inflation rate in 15 years, and the lira has fallen by 30 percent against the dollar year-to-date. Consumer price growth has hit a staggering 25 percent this year.
Such inflation is why Turkey beats every other European country when it comes to owning cryptocurrency. A recent study revealed that 18 percent of all Turkish people own cryptocurrency, which is double the European rate of 9 percent. In addition, 53 percent of Turks believe that cryptocurrency will become the dominant method of online payment in the future.
These facts underscore the severity of having one’s cryptocurrency wallet hacked. Sadly, it seems that hacking isn’t disappearing anytime soon as the potential profits are huge. The North Korean hacking group, Lazarus, is suspected of being responsible for stealing $571 million in cryptocurrency. An exchange, Zaif, was recently hacked to the tune of $60 million, and nobody noticed for four days.
Have you ever been the victim of a hacking attack? Let us know in the comments below.
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