Hackers in Turkey made away with $2.47 million worth of cryptocurrencies. And while this may not be the biggest hack in the recent past, this one was quite unique. The hackers used an online game chatting platform to communicate.
As reported by a local media outlet, the crypto exchange detected the intrusion and immediately alerted the police. The police swung into action right away, stopping the attack. However, the hackers had already made away with 13 million Turkish lira ($2.47 million).
According to the Istanbul Cybercrime Branch, the hackers infiltrated two of the company’s accounts. They then transferred the cryptos in those accounts to several other accounts. The cryptos they made away with were bitcoin, ether and XRP.
The police then began investigating the hack and it didn’t take long for them to locate the suspects. The most unique thing about the hackers: they used a massively popular online game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), to communicate with each other. PUBG is similar to Fortnite and is the fifth-highest selling game in the world.
The police went on to track the hackers and in their swift operation, they apprehended 24 suspects. The police carried out the operation in eight provinces simultaneously. These are the capital Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Antalya, Izmir, Edirne, Bolu and Afyonkarahisar.
For their swift action, the police were able to recover 1.3 million lira ($250,000) in crypto. They also recovered 54,000 lira ($10,300) in cash from the suspects. The recovered crypto was reportedly returned to the crypto exchange whose identity the police refused to divulge.
The police released two of the 24 suspects after they completed their legal procedures at the police station. The rest of the suspects went on to an Istanbul Courthouse. Here, the court restrained six of them, releasing the remaining sixteen ‘on condition of judicial control.’
Hackers Unfazed by Bear Market
The prices of most cryptos are 80 percent below where they were a year ago. However, this has done little to discourage cybercriminals. Already, hackers have attacked New Zealand crypto exchange Cryptopia and made away with an undisclosed amount of money. Research firm Elementus estimates that the hackers stole $16 million. The firm also revealed that the hackers have already cashed out $3.2 million.
As of this morning, the hackers have liquidated $3.2m in tokens, with the bulk of that going to Etherdelta pic.twitter.com/QVbb8mSszX
— Elementus (@elementus_io) February 4, 2019
Despite the very widely-talked-about hack, Cryptopia has failed to come out and shed some light on what really happened. In an industry that is widely disreputed by the mainstream finance industry, it’s instances like this that further erode the credibility that millions of people have taken years to build.