Philip Martin is the latest person to lose quite a bit of crypto after his Coinbase account was taken over by cyberthieves.
Philip Martin Loses His Ethereum Stash
Before Christmas last year, Martin thought he was logging into his account, though as it turned out, hackers had thwarted the URL and changed it ever so slightly to the point that his computer and web browser didn’t even notice.
He was prompted to enter his login information and password, and the hackers then had what they needed to make off with his personal stash. Overall, the thieves stole approximately $165K in Ethereum from Martin’s account.
In an interview, Martin detailed the horror he’s been experiencing since the attack. He mentioned:
It’s been very frustrating. I’ve had panic attacks.
Given that all Ethereum transactions are recorded to a public ledger, he was able to trace the stolen crypto and even reported the incident to his local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) branch but adding insult to injury was the message he got from the branch claiming the amount lost was not big enough for agents to open an investigation.
An email from special agent Elizabeth Hammond explained to Martin:
Unfortunately, due to the dollar amount involved in your complaint, management has determined that it does not rise to our required threshold level and the FBI will not be moving forward with an investigation at this time.
Laura Eimiller – a spokeswoman for the FBI Los Angeles field office – said she would not comment on the case, stating:
Like with many prolific and evolving schemes, we are not going to arrest or prosecute our way out of this. Whether it’s individuals or businesses, education is the key. We urge people to visit IC3.gov (the Internet Complaint Center) to familiarize themselves with the latest trends.
Martin also said he feels his account holder – Coinbase – is largely to blame in that it did not do enough to keep his funds protected. He said:
Coinbase is basically saying that they’re not responsible, and every user is responsible to secure their own device, laptop, or phone. These crypto exchanges don’t have any regulation that’s compelling them to be on the side of the customer and provide protection to help in these types of situations that, in my opinion, they are responsible for, of not providing enough cybersecurity on their own URL address.
No One Is Taking Responsibility
A spokesperson for Coinbase responded with the following:
Coinbase customers should also be wary of phishing attempts and never click on a link or engage with an email that isn’t from the domain Coinbase.com… Scams, fraud and other crimes can have a significant impact on customers, and we take extensive security measures to ensure our customer accounts remain safe. We regularly educate our customers on how to avoid cryptocurrency scams.