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Israeli brothers arrested for 2016 Bitfinex hack, global retrieval effort underway

Crypto wallet.shepardhumphries/Pixabay

Wed, 26 Jun 2019, 06:03 am UTC

Two brothers of Israeli origin have been arrested recently for alleged crimes of stealing $100 million worth of cryptocurrency. The pair is accused of their involvement in the hacking of Bitfinex back in 2016, which was the largest crypto theft since the Mt. Gox debacle at that time. A global effort for retrieving the stolen crypto coins is already underway.

Eli and Assaf Gigi were recently apprehended by the Israeli Police cybercrime unit with allegations of perpetrating phishing schemes and being party to the hacking of Bitfinex in which 119,756 bitcoins were stolen, Coindesk reports. After three years of lying dormant, there was movement detected in some of the stolen coins last month.

As of now, there is a concerted effort among several agencies all over the world to attempt to find all of the stolen coins. Majority of the affected accounts were from the U.S. and the European Union and some of the stolen bitcoin was returned earlier this year after they were retrieved by the U.S. authorities.

On top of the hacking crime that the brothers are also suspected of having committed phishing schemes using Reddit and Telegram. Eli is of particular interest in this case due to his background of being an expert in computer science. What’s more, he supposedly worked for the IDF, thus providing some context as to how skillful he is with computers.

When the brothers’ house was raided, only a small amount of coins was found, Cointelegraph reports. Eli has already pledged that he will be cooperating with the investigations and efforts to retrieve the remaining digital currencies.

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