Turkish Police Arrests Suspects in Hack Attack

| Publish date: 11/05/2018
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According to local news reports, the Turkish National Police’s Cybercrime Department arrested 11 people who are suspected of having masterminded the hack attack that broken into cryptocurrency wallets as well as Bitcoin accounts. This attack cost its victims more than $80,000 in losses.

What Happened?

Earlier last month, 14 people had filed complaints with their local police, stating that their cryptocurrency wallets and/or their cryptocurrency accounts had been hacked into and their Bitcoin had been transferred to other wallets. After these complaints had been documented, the Istanbul police launched an investigation into the matter.

The Turkish Cybercrime unit reportedly uncovered that the criminals had stolen Bitcoins worth more than $80,000 (~437 Turkish Lira). The Cybercrime unit was also able to identify 11 of the suspects thanks to a mobile phone the hackers used to register and open crypto accounts on various trading platforms.

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Once the suspects were identified correctly, the special operations unit, the Polis Ozel Harekat, carried out raids in different parts of Istanbul on October 26. It was during this raid that the Turkish police was able to arrest 11 of the suspects. Of these 11, 10 are still in formal custody, waiting for the formal completion of the investigation.

It was also during this raid that the special police confiscated 6 laptops, one tablet, 18 mobile phones, 3 hard disks and 22 memory sticks. A few of the arrested also had fake IDs and drivers’ licenses. Security cameras at multiple ATMs as well as banks identified the suspects while they were withdrawing funds.

At this point, the Turkish police are still looking for more victims of these hackers.

A Rise in Crypto Crimes

Turkey has one of the largest percentage of population that invests in cryptocurrencies. Over 18% of its population have bought cryptocurrencies over the last few years. The question is what has fueling this massive adoption of cryptocurrencies in this troubled state?

According to some, it is because of the very geopolitical issues in the area that so many people have started investing in cryptocurrencies. With the American government imposing new sanctions on the country, Turkey’s merchants and public have been facing the brunt of the decline in the Turkish Lira. The country’s national currency has fallen by about 50% against the dollar, which in turn led to hyperinflation.

Due to this issue, many in Turkey have turned to cryptocurrencies as their own currency has become so devalued. Unfortunately for them, this increased interest in cryptocurrencies has also attracted hackers to the country.

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