Most of $11M Stolen MIOTA Tokens Found, IOTA Foundation Says
The revelation comes a week after a Europol-led operation arrested the alleged hacker, a 36-year-old resident of the United Kingdom.
The bulk of stolen IOTA (MIOTA) coins has been found and put under the control of law enforcement agencies, IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener told Reuters this week. The assets are now part of a Europol-coordinated investigation that last week led to the arrest of an unnamed 36-year-old UK hacker, who stole $11.3 million worth of coins.
Around 85 token holders worldwide were targeted by the criminal in the last 12 months. Several MIOTA investors from Hessen reported the case to the police, which resulted in a special operation led by Europol as the hacker resides in Oxford, England.
“From what we know, just a small amount of the 10 million euros has not been found. The exchanges have blocked the hacker’s accounts. He tried to free the money, but he did not succeed,” Reuters cited Schiener as saying.
According to Schiener, who is also co-chairman of the IOTA Foundation, the authorities first thought that an organized criminal group had stolen the tokens. However, all clues now show that the scheme was created by one person, who is well-educated and has a “normal job.” The foundation cooperated with British, German, and Europol investigators for several months, Schiener added.
The criminal used the 81-digit seed in the MIOTA wallets to make off with the assets. The seed generator could be found online on IOTA’s official website, as well as on other places, such as iotaseed.io, the website of the Oxford-based hacker.
“Several victims created the seed on this website in good faith, however the seeds were stored in the background by the service provider. Later the criminal used these to gain access to the victims’ wallets and transferred their money to other wallets created with fake IDs,” Europol said last week.
Currently, IOTA ranks at number 14 on the cryptocurrency market capitalization list with about $708 million in value. More than ten crypto exchanges support the asset, with Binance, Bitfinex, FCoin, Exrates, and HitBTC being the largest, according to Coinmarketcap data.