STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Police arrest woman who stole bitcoins worth Rs 3.66 crore in Bengaluru

She hacked into her former employers’ system to carry out the transactions

Published: 20th March 2020 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2020 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

Bitcoins, cryptocurrency

For representational purposes.

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Cyber Crime police on Tuesday arrested a woman who allegedly stole 64 bitcoins, worth Rs 3.66 crore, by accessing the hardware wallet of a cryptocurrency exchange firm where she had worked. Police arrested Ayushi based on a complaint filed by Ashish Singhal, owner of cryptocurrency exchange firm BitCipher Labs in Mahadevapura.

According to the complaint, Ashish, Vimal Sagar Tiwari and Govind Kumar Soni were holders of two hardware wallets on behalf of BitCipher Labs LLP. They also held the private keys among. On March 13, they found out that 63.54 bitcoins (worth Rs 3.66 crore) were transferred through SwapLab between January 11 and March 11.

“Investigation revealed the complainant had hardware wallets in which Bitcoins were stored, and a 24-word passphrase (password) was written on a piece of paper and stored securely. Only the complainant and partners had access to the passphrase, which was the key to authenticate bitcoin transactions. The accused hacked into their systems and carried out unauthorised transactions,” a police officer said.

“Since a hardware wallet and passphrase was required for bitcoin transactions, it was suspected that the culprit was someone proficient in using this technology, and who was closely associated with the firm. Police prepared a list of former employees of the company, and short-listed Ayushi. When questioned, she admitted to have carried out the transactions by acquiring the passphrase written on paper,” the senior police officer added.

“As she was working with the firm from the beginning, Ashish trusted her and gave her the key to the almirah in which the paper with the passpharse was kept. Taking advantage of this, Ayushi opened the almirah when no one was around and took a photograph of the passphrase, because she required bitcoins to start her own cryptocurrency exchange company. She purchased a hardware wallet and used the passphrase to convert bitcoins with the assistance of Swaplab exchange to Monero cryptocurrency, and later had them transferred to her Binance account. The woman volunteered to transfer the stolen bitcoins back to their original owners, and it was done,” the police said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp