In what sounds like a plan concocted by villains in a movie, 24 men have been arrested after stealing $2.47 million in an elaborate heist. The group used the popular video game PUBG to communicate and plan the entire heist, where they hacked into a Turkish crypto exchange and stole tokens. So far, only $256,000 has been recovered by Turkish police, but they are hard at work tracking down the remaining missing funds. It’s not the first-time hackers and terrorists have used video games to communicate in order to avoid being monitored by government agencies, but it’s through to be the world’s first crypto heist planned on a video game.
24 Suspects Arrested
So far, police have arrested 24 suspects in connection with the theft, but two have been let go without being charged. In order for the exchange to recover all of the missing funds, the criminals behind the attack would need to hand over the wallet containing the crypto. While the stolen crypto can be traced to an address, actually getting hold of the wallet to return the money is a different kettle of fish. If police don’t turn up more leads or crack one of the suspects, then the money could disappear into the ether forever.
The local police have refused to name the exchange implicated in the hack, something that’s concerning the crypto community. Traders of the exchange have a right to know that the exchange they are using has known security flaws and that their money isn’t safe. This could imply it’s a state sponsored project and the government doesn’t want word getting out that its exchange got hacked.
Nothing New to See Here
Unfortunately, crypto exchanges get hacked all the time. They are popular targets for hackers due to the relatively low levels of security when compared to stock and forex trading platforms. On January 16th, Cryptopia became the first exchange of 2019 to be hacked. While police have given it the green light to reopen, many traders are wary of going back. This week Coinmama was also hacked, exposing 841 million user’s identities and records. This data will sell for a fortune on the black market and is much harder to trace than cryptocurrencies.
The moral of the story here is that you shouldn’t store crypto on an exchange. Instead, transfer your crypto into a hardware wallet and become your own bank. This safeguards you against hackers hitting an exchange and gives you the power to quickly move to another exchange when yours is down after a hack.