Recent developments may point to the September 2018 Zaif cryptocurrency exchange platform hack originating in Europe. Japanese investigators say they recently uncovered German and French IP addresses attempting to move some of the stolen cryptocurrency from the Zaif heist.
Suspected Cryptocurrency Exchange Hackers Traced to France and Germany
Japan Digital Design, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) in conjunction with cybersecurity firms – TokyoWestern and EL Plus, recently announced tracing some of the stolen Zaif funds to places in Europe. According to UPI, the investigation uncovered an attempt to send MonaCoin (one of the stolen cryptocurrencies) to another wallet.
The investigators flagged the IP addresses between October 20 and October 22, 2018, about one month after the initial heist. Of the five transfers flagged, four originated from France while the other one was from a German IP address.
The investigation used cloud-hosted nodes, mostly from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to reveal the IP addresses of the suspected hackers when they tried to move some of the stolen MonaCoin. Local media sources in Japan say local police is coordinating with their counterparts in Europe to track down the suspected hackers.
In September 2018, Live Bitcoin News, reported that hackers stole more than $60 million in cryptocurrency from Zaif – a Japanese virtual currency exchange platform. At the time, reports indicated that it took about four days before anyone noticed the theft even though the hackers carted away almost 6,000 BTC as well as Bitcoin Cash and MonaCoin.
More than 60 percent of the stolen coins were from customer deposits. As such, the platform promised to refund affected customers. In October, the platform sold a majority of its shares to FISCO to raise enough money to pay back affected depositors.
Asian Exchanges Under Siege
At the time of the Zaif heist, it was the latest in a series of compromised cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Asia. While there is an argument to be made about the region being the leader in the global cryptocurrency narrative, security concerns continue to plague exchanges domiciled in countries like Japan and South Korea.
2018 began with the Coincheck heist that ran into more than half a billion dollars. This event prompted the regulators in Japan to call for more robust security measures. In South Korea, platforms like Bithumb and Coinrail have also suffered hacks in 2018.
Do you think the police will be able to catch the hackers responsible for the Ziaf heist? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.