US seizes stolen Bitcoin worth 3.36 billion USD

On November 7, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had seized $3.36 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin in an unannounced raid in 2021 on the residence of James Zhong, who pleaded guilty to fraud. electronic island and could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

More than $3.3 billion in Bitcoin was stolen from the Silk Road “black market”. Photo: Reuters

Accordingly, US authorities seized about 50,676 Bitcoins, estimated at $3.36 billion at market prices. This is the DOJ’s second-largest crypto seizure to date, following the seizure of $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency allegedly stolen in connection with the 2016 hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex.

Authorities said that Zhong stole the assets at the Silk Road market, a dark web forum where drugs and illegal products are traded in cryptocurrencies. Silk Road was launched in 2011 and was shut down by the FBI 2 years later. The founder of this platform, Ross William Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence.

Special agent Tyler Hatcher, of the criminal investigation unit, said that Zhong had a “sophisticated plan” to steal Bitcoin from SilkRoad. Accordingly, in September 2012, Zhong created 9 scam accounts on the black market, loaded each account with 200 to 2,000 Bitcoins and made more than 140 consecutive transactions to fool the withdrawal processing system, taking more than 50,000 Bitcoins before dispersing to various wallet addresses.

To date, cryptocurrency platforms are still “delicious prey” of cybercriminals.

In October 2022, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, had more than $570 million stolen by hackers. The company said a bug in the smart contract allowed hackers to exploit a cross-chain bridge and withdraw the native cryptocurrency on the platform.

Before that, in March 2022, another hacker discovered a vulnerability on the decentralized financial platform Ronin Network and earned $ 600 million.

The Chainalysis report shows that, as of July 2022, about $1.9 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen, up from $1.2 billion in the same period last year.

The Vinh (According to CNBC)

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