..

Bitcoin Thieves Threaten With Weapons That Are Anything But Virtual

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Feb/19/2018

In late December, a Bitcoin developer was kidnapped from his Ukraine office, held hostage and ordered to pay a $1 million ransom.

Late last month, four armed men broke into the home of a wealthy Moulsford, Oxfordshire family demanding the male head of household relinquish all of his Bitcoin.

And now the New York Times has made public a story of armed assailants forcing a young Russian man into giving up all his virtual currencies.

The currency may be virtual but the weapons used to obtain Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are anything but, the Times notes.

In the case of 40-year-old Russian programmer and cryptocurrency investor Pavel Lerner being dragged into a van from his Kiev office, thieves in that case made off with $1 million in Bitcoin paid.

Thieves have taken advantage of this system in a startling number of recent cases, from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to Canada, the United States and Britain, the Times reports.

“This is now becoming more pervasive and touching more law enforcement divisions that deal with organized crime and violent crime on a local level,” said Jonathan Levin, the founder of Chainalysis, which has worked with several law enforcement agencies on virtual currency crimes.

With cryptocurrencies, criminals do not have to associate their identity with their Bitcoin address when such transactions are ultimately tracked.

“For this, the advantage of Bitcoin is that it’s hard to verify,” said Chanut Hongsitthichaikul, an investigator with the Chalong Police Station, which investigated the case in Phuket. “We asked the victim how to track it since they know Bitcoin better than us. We asked them how to check the receiver. They said there is no way. It is hard to do.”

The young Russian man visiting Thailand ultimately had his stolen laptop recovered in Malaysia.  That's where the trail went cold.

It's happening in the U.S. as well.

There have also been many documented holdups around the world at in-person meetings where people were looking to convert cash into virtual currency, including one last year in Palm Beach, Fla., where the thief made off with $28,000 before being arrested, the New York Times notes. 

A man in New York City was held hostage by a man who demanded the transfer of more than $1.8 million worth of virtual currency, Ether.

Most cryptocurrency crimes to date have been a result of hackings however.

From CryptoDaily.com:

A Hollywood hospital paid $17,000 in Bitcoin to a hacker who seized control of the medical center’s computer systems. Hackers even held an entire county in North Carolina hostage, hacking into the Mecklenburg County server and holding county files hostage in exchange for $26,000 worth of Bitcoin.

These crimes are beginning to take a toll with many big virtual currency holders altering their travel plans, avoiding nations the likes of Russia and Turkey where such attacks appear to be more pervasive. 

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

Business/Financial News

What Do Broken Down McDonald's Milkshake Machines Have to Do With a Bitcoin Mastercard Conspiracy?

If franchisees want to switch solutions, the only option that the parent corporation allows is to switch to a software “upgrade” called “Powerhouse Dynamics,” which is owned by the parent company of Taylor, so you can't really escape the system.  Enter Mastercard's similar setup with Bitcoin.

The Crypto Beat - July 28, 2021: Bitcoin Crosses Over $40K Again

The Crypto Beat - July 28, 2021: Bitcoin Crosses Over $40K Again

Plus EU’s ban on anonymous digital currency transfers—a deep dive....cryptocurrency won't be so anonymous any more. 

Bloomberg: DOJ Probing Tether of Bank Fraud

Bloomberg: DOJ Probing Tether of Bank Fraud

A U.S. probe into Tether, a digital token widely used to trade Bitcoin, is looking into whether executives behind the digital token committed bank fraud, a potential criminal case that would have broad implications for the cryptocurrency market, according to a report filed by Bloomberg News Monday morning.

Three Important Features a Pay Per Head Should Offer

Three Important Features a Pay Per Head Should Offer

When selecting a Pay Per Head sportsbook software, there are three primary things to consider in addition to the required reporting, lines management and customer service component. 

BSV Network Attacked: CoinGeek Explains What Happened

BSV Network Attacked: CoinGeek Explains What Happened

The BSV Network has come under attack in recent weeks, more specifically June 24, 2021 and then again on July 1, 6 and 9.  This is likely to become a trend targetting all blockchain networks and crypto sites.

Syndicate