Law enforcement authorities in New Delhi will file charges on Monday in the Coinsecure hack case. Coinsecure was a large cryptocurrency exchange allegedly wallet-hacked back in April of this year. It turns out to be an international crime, one spread over half a dozen exchanges.
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India Cops Will File Charges Monday in Coinsecure Hack Case
“We contacted some of the exchange firms from where the bitcoins were routed,” officer Anyesh Roy explained. “Initially, they didn’t give a response, but now we are in the process of getting the information through mutual legal assistance treaty.”
Nearly half a year ago, a large crypto exchange in India, Coinsecure, announced its offline wallet had been emptied, apparently hacked. Over 400 bitcoin were stolen, then carrying a value of some Rs 20 crore, which is $2,773,800 in USD at today’s prices. “It was later found that the private keys — password kept by the company and stored offline — were leaked online leading to the hack,” the Times claims.
The seemingly international character of the crime led India authorities to seek cooperation with Interpol in an effort to track down the stolen bitcoin. It did appear coins were located in other exchanges, as Mr. Roy noted.
An Inside Job?
“Mutual legal assistance treaties are agreements between two or more countries for sharing of information. It is primarily used to request and obtain evidence for criminal investigations and prosecutions,” the Times of India detailed. Five, as yet unnamed, crypto exchanges were found to be holding stolen bitcoin.
These pages reported back at the time how the exchange’s CEO openly accused its security officer of the crime. “‘On April 9th,’ Mr. Kaira continued, ‘we were informed by our CSO […] that 438.318 were stolen from our company’s bitcoin wallet due to some attack. As the private keys were kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident.’” Dr. Saxena was later arrested. It is unclear if he will be named in Monday’s formal charges.
In between arrests and Monday’s charges, Coinsecure began processing victim refunds summer of this year. As we explained, “We are happy to inform you that we have started the process of compensating our customers in Indian rupees, ex gratia, for the loss of their bitcoins in the attack that occurred on April 9, 2018. Please note that the last date for submitting claims to us along with all appropriate documents is June 30, 2018 — We will not entertain any claims received after June 30, 2018, and we shall have no liability towards any users who try to submit claims after the said date.” The Times suggests some $2M has been returned.
What do you think about India’s authorities pressing charges against suspects stemming from the $2.7 million Coinsecure hack? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.
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Author: C. Edward Kelso
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