According to reports, authorities in Japan are targeting people allegedly involved in the Coincheck crypto exchange hack in January 2018.
Police arrested or referred to local prosecutors about 30 people in Japan for allegedly hacking one of the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a Jan. 22 report by Japanese news agency Nikkei Asia. In January 2018, hackers stole Coincheck NEM (XEM) valued at around $ 534 million. This was and is the biggest hack of a crypto exchange.
Nikkei Asia claims that, according to an unnamed source, investigators “tracked the accounts on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges through which the hacked NEM was converted” in order to identify the 30 people. The news agency said the NEM tokens could go as high as 20 billion yen in cases where individuals are involved – roughly $ 193 million at the time of publication.
Since the attacks three years ago, investigators have alleged that Russian hackers were partially responsible for infecting Coincheck employees’ PCs with a virus. The virus could have allowed hackers to take over the infected computers and operate them remotely.
So far, the Japanese authorities have made few arrests in connection with the Coincheck hack. In March, local police arrested two men who allegedly bought some of the stolen NEM on a darknet marketplace shortly after the attack. According to police, the two knew the origin of the funds, but still decided to buy the tokens at a substantial discount.