The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation also known as Europol announced on January 23 that a suspect who allegedly stole €10 Million worth of IOTA cryptocurrency has been arrested. Europol also said he is being charged on the grounds of theft, fraud, and money laundering.
SEROCU Arrests 36-Year-Old Man Linked With Cybercrime
Per the report, UK’s South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) has arrested a 36-year-old unnamed suspect. The man is believed to be the actor behind the crime that led to a loss of IOTA funds by 85 people across the world. Reports also add that from January 2018, IOTA tokens worth €10 million have been stolen from wallets.
In the same vein, the suspect had purportedly stolen these funds from susceptible IOTA wallets. These are wallets that make use of 81 digit seeds in order to enhance the wallet’s level of security. Europol also said that the seeds can be generated from the official IOTA website itself, or a third party site.
Malicious Seed Generator Poses Security Issues to Wallets
According to Europol, Iotaseed.io, the platform that was used by some customers, had a malicious seed generator. As a result, the seed created was stored in the background by the service provider which made these wallets vulnerable to attack. The security issue also enabled the suspect to illegally gain access to wallets. He later moved the funds to other accounts.
More light into the suspect’s arrest, reveals that he was first identified by the German authorities in July 2018. The authorities had pinpointed that the suspect is residing in the UK and as such, the case was handed over the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT). J-CAT was then able to coordinate with the other EU Member States to fish out the attacker, says the report.
U.K. Authorities Invade Suspect’s Home
After the suspect’s hideout was discovered, SEROCU invaded his home prior to obtaining a search warrant. In their search, a number of computers and other electronics were seized. This may have given the authorities sufficient evidence to back up their claims and outline the reasons for his arrest.
Cybercrime is unarguably on the rise and BTCNN has reported a number of these ranging from SIM swapping attack to the illegal mining of cryptocurrencies on a user’s computer. Exchanges have not also been left out in the attack and an instance which was reported on January 15 is Cryptopia, a virtual currency exchange that was recently hacked.