Back in 2017, a thief managed to exploit a weakness in the IOTA codebase and created a seed generator that helped him bag more than $10 million in IOTA from unsuspecting victims. After investigating the case for more than a year, Europol has finally arrested a 39-year-old suspect.
The man was arrested in Oxford, England surrounded by piles of cash, illegal drugs, and computer hardware. It could be some time before all the victims of the theft are compensated, but this is a major step towards recovering their lost crypto.
IOTA on the Rebound
Many slated the theft as the end of IOTA, but two years on IOTA is thriving as hundreds of developers flock to the platform. One group of farmers have rigged up a feeding machine to an IOTA connection, allowing web users to send IOTA to an address in order for the machine to dispense yummy treats to sheep. If that wasn’t enough, a new WordPress plugin has been released that lets people running WooCommerce accept IOTA with just the click of a button. IOTA is definitely on the rise after this huge theft, and now the thief has been caught, IOTA is looking stronger than ever.
The Rising Number of Crypto Thefts
Unfortunately, thieves are turning to crypto for an easy way to make a quick buck. Late last year, an Australian woman stole 100,000 XRP from a gentleman who she knew intimately. She hacked into his emails and reset his exchange password. From there she sent the Ripple to her personal wallet and cashed it out – allowing the police to catch her in the act. This is just one case of thousands that are happening every day, but fortunately due to the public record of every crypto transaction, most funds can be recovered fairly quickly.
Ethereum is Now Considered Proceeds of Crime
Until a few months ago, Ethereum couldn’t be confiscated from criminals due to its legal classification. However, one Irish court changed that forever by declaring Ethereum as proceeds of crime. That means any Ethereum found to be held by criminals can be seized until proven it was bought with legitimately earned cash.
For those victims waiting to recover their IOTA that was stolen back in 2017, there is still a long road ahead. It could be months before the accused is prosecuted and his assets liquidated in order to return the stolen funds. For many, that’s not enough as they missed out on the December 2017 all-time high prices of IOTA. Recovering any funds will be a mere consolation prize for these holders at this point.