A wave of arrest flooded the province of Shandong, China, in the latest move by the Chinese authorities to rid the country of organized crimes, especially cybercriminals who partake in cryptocurrency theft and other related crypto jacking activities. The crime syndicate who are notorious and highly organized were rounded up after allegedly starting up a company that illegally accumulated $2.2 million worth of coins and other related crimes which authorities claim is around 3.89 million.
CHINESE MULTI-MILLION DOLLARS SYNDICATE NABBED
Twenty individuals have been arrested in connection with a massive crypto jacking syndicate that has been terrorizing the country and giving investors, customers and authorities sleepless nights for years. Devices seized by the authorities from the criminals are estimated to be around $3.89 million which included 52 computer systems, a VPN accelerator, and a game hacking program.
It is estimated that the crypto jacking scam netted those involved more than 15 million Yuan ($2.2 million ). It was discovered back in January by technicians at Tencent, the largest gaming and social media firm in China. According to a post from the Shandong government’s website, the malware used was hidden in software downloads that enable online gamers to add cheats to various titles but instead secretly mined cryptocurrencies with users devices.
Most of the people that were arrested were employees at Dalian Shenping Network Technology. A very notorious member of the syndicate even cloned a very popular video streaming service owned by BAIDU. He then sold a fake subscription to the fraudulent service which got him a whopping $30,000.
A report in the Southern China Morning Post alleges that the owner of Dilian Shenping was also part of the nefarious activities. Along with other employees from the company, over 3 million computers were hijacked using the crypto jacking software. It is believed that using this method, those involved were able to mine 26 million units of DigiByte, Decred, and Siacoin.
The three coined were targeted because they can be mined successfully without the use of specialized chips that are often required to mine Bitcoin.
CHINESE AUTHORITIES ON THE LOOKOUT
Leonard Weese of the Bitcoin Association Hong Kong spoke with CoinHooked about the cybercrime that has become a norm in recent years.
“If it’s done cleverly, then the software will only mine with excess capacity, and you won’t notice from the outside.”
Publications have overtime reported incidents involving crypto jacking, though some have been uncovered, none has been of this magnitude, and this shows the dedication on the side of the authorities to rid the country of criminal elements which will ultimately chase away prospective investors in the country who feels like their investments is not safe in the country.
The effect of crypto jacking was so enormous that security outfit Avast decided to show a live demonstration showing just how destructive it could be at RSA 2018 in April 2018.
But with the clampdown on the activities of the criminals, observers are hoping that it will help reduce their impact in the Chinese crypto space.